When I first saw the LiveScribe, I was pretty excited. It was finally the device I had been looking for. Finally a unique application where I could not just have a convenient note taking / audio recording system, but a tool where I could actually make and integrate changes that I found to be useful improvements.
I'm not looking to sell 'apps,' I'm just looking to enable myself to work more effectively at my own pace, which may or may not involve me sharing the project with other LS users. I probably would, but didn't get an opportunity to do so before, as I got mine right before the SDK system was closed.
People are interested when they see me using my LS to take meeting notes, teach kids how to do basic animation, and even just have handy PDF's available in my chickens cratch for the world to see immediately after a meeting. They all want to know what it is and where they can get one. I don't like that my answer has to be "I'm afraid I can't recommend this device, they closed the platform, and it's all downhill from here :/." Many of them, being software developers and business executives take that as a pretty sad response. After they are unable to swindle mine away from me (my Bamboo tablet is broken ATM), they do take my recommendation. And they usually say, "that's really too bad, it would be great if we could use this for... "
Some of these people, are even people you have partnered with for external delivery channels. They know that if they can't get people like me to recommend this device, that they will not be able to really reach the a customer metric large enough to maintain support for you to deliver content to their platform. I still cannot see a valid reason for the decision to close the SDK.
I'm not looking for App store placement, I'm not looking for a large amount of support from the devleoper team at LS (even though I know that they were the most perplexed by this decision). In fact, I really just want access to some basic hooks to be able to add a little more functionality to the device, without being locked into one of Adobe's primary platforms. Adobe may work in some environments, but not in the ones where I work, we maintain a fairly strict and solid Open Source policy because every time we go for a proprietary service lock in, we cannot get the quality of service that we need to maintain our infrastructure in a reasonable amount of time.
You made a great physical product. While I'm not too much a fan of the OS X and Windows lock-in, I'm sure that your engineering team will find that they are better, cheaper and freer tools available to you with just a little more well thought out development. About the only software I can share with people is firewall rules to block your software from attempting to share notes with third parties with whom we happily compete with (and obviously have good friendships with).
I've also dropped all my suppoort for the LS in educational environments, since the tools are designed more for the administration's convience then that of the students and teachers.
Since you have been fairly hush-hush after the 'SDK has to go, sorry' notices, I can only assume that you are unable to contain the code to maintain reliability of your brand, or a new executive has a very misguided understanding of what open hardware, working with open software, can bring to the market. You can see how well Wacom, ATI/AMD, Intel and ZCorp have done by opening their systems. Your webserver is nginx, meaning that you yourself gain these benefits. What is the reluctance to continue to share them
Once again, I don't ask for 'app' syndication. I'd like to be able to share a copy of my code with, let's say 10-50 people to help me work on a tool that I think is worthwhile. You're welcome to throw up a million disclaimers about my software being 'untrusted,' (altho the ability to sign my code with you as an authorized developer for all but the most software developer of installs would be welcome. If the tool does become useful, I'd be more then happy to let you review it, and consider promoting it on a fee for distribution basis (sometimes needed for good commercially distributed datasets).
Much like I want to be able to write on my notepad plainly, I want to be able to write TO my pen plainly. Some of the apps I saw get into the store are certainly below my levels of taste, but some of them are totally amazing, and I"d love to expand on some of the innovation.
I'd even go as far as to say that I'd be willing to drop access to all the proprietary software support on the device (removing Adobe restrictions) and working to build a separate desktop integration system. This does require some trust of your users, but we're trusting you with cash up front, and the protection of our note data. Given the recent actions and hearings in Congress, it seems like it would behoove you to minimize your liabilities, and just focus on making a great hardware tool, a locked down consumer level application, but opening the doors to professionals and third party integrators to make your product have even more diversity.
I'd even be okay with a non-licensed device with decent documentation on how to bootstrap a whole new system. Your retail sales remain the same, and if anything, grow..
You're welcome to email me to discuss the matter more. But I would certainly like to hear from some of the other users about how they feel. I know that, as before, the people at LS who read these forums do care. But the stagnation in the product I have seen since the closure of the SDK (trust me, Eclipse is my last choice for building cool technology), I don't see disappearing.
So users who want their pens back, post a response of PM me. And I'd very much like to hear a some rational challenge to my thoughts either in public or privately.
I really do like the device, and it am very very very regretful at how often I have to tell people to look for a competitor.