Live Pen™2 - Firmware 1.x and 2.x compatibility

Please read this information before upgrading your Live Pen™2 to firmware 2.x to avoid compatibility issues.

As the incremented version number indicates, there has been a major change between firmware versions 1.x and 2.x for the Live Pen™2 devices. It is important to understand that version 2.x is not backwards compatible with applications based on older SDKs.

Before upgrading to firmware 2.x, you must ensure any application required to read the ink data has been updated to support the STF2 format extension scheme, now used for the first time in this version.

Ink data stroke format
Ink stroke data is stored as a stream of data within a container called STF2. The design of which is extensible allowing us to add new functionality as the product matures. A bug was discovered which caused applications to hang when presented with data in the STF2 file that wasn't expected. In order to prevent future compatibility issues, updated SDKs have been made available, which corrects this issue but resulted in older versions becoming incompatible with the later STF2 format. In order to use firmware 2.x (STF2 [2.2]), the following SDK and application versions are required:

Firmware 2.x (STF2 v2.2) Min Required Version
Live Encryption SDK for Windows 1.0.2.x
Live Encryption SDK for Linux 1.0.2.x
Live SDK for Windows 1.4.0.x
penDirector 2.10.0.x
Anoto Live Forms TBC

Please note that Anoto Live Forms (ALF) v4.5.0+ is not compatible with the LP2 firmware 2.x. 'out of the box'. Customers using this version of ALF should...

  • continue to use LP2 firmware 1.x.
  • get in touch with the Anoto support team at and they can walk you through patching your ALF server to successfully deal with submissions sent from an LP2 pen, running firmware 2.x

Why is this change necessary?
In order to retain backward compatibility with legacy systems based on the Anoto PGC stroke format, an ink converter library is provided as part of our Anoto Live SDK for Windows which provides functionality to transform STF2 data to PGC. In previous versions of this converter, the SYSTEM_TIME reported in the PGC output was taken from the host clock rather than the pen clock. To be able to report the pen clock (as done in previous pens), an extra data element was added to the STF2 file which allowed later versions of the ink converter to provide access to the pen time information whilst remaining compatible with existing customer applications.
Unfortunately, a bug in the STF2 parsing library (present in all of the applications listed above) causes it and its associated application to hang when presented with the additional data rather than simply ignoring it. In order to resolve this, the parsing library was updated and re-issued in these SDKs which are therefore a prerequisite prior to the use of firmware 2.x.

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