Pulse by Livescribe

The Pulse pen records lectures and everything you write, can make a calculator on the fly and translate your written sentences to other languages (and will speak them for you!) Transfer your notes to a computer and replay them in the order written, while listening to the lecture again. Rewind, fast-forward, add notes and share them with your friends.

The Pulse Pen by Livescribe is based on technology that recognizes it’s position on a piece of paper with an embedded pattern. Pinion was brought on by Moto Development Group to lead the mechanical engineering in developing Livescribe’s first generation pen.

The team was challenged with developing a new, smaller platform with increased robustness and repeatability in manufacturing. Pinion introduced an architecture that reduced the tolerance stack-up and number of components significantly. Additionally, Pinion introduced a new method of calibration and sensing for when the pen contacts the paper. Close work with creatively sourced manufacturers enabled the team to make the pen closer to typical pen diameters than ever before – deep drawn metal, primarily used in cosmetics, provided that edge.


The overall project went from phase 1 (ideation) through phase 5 (mass production) including complete manufacturing plan and documentation, first article reviews and tooling reviews.

Additional design areas included:

1) Audio Design for speaker and stereo microphone placement.

2) Li-Po Battery pack design and placement.

3) Major component placement of electrical parts on circuit boards.

4) Custom sensor design.

5) Custom USB connector design.

6) Circuit board and OLED connection method to main PCB.

Currently Livescribe is on their third generation pen.

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