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May 31, 2007, 12:06 PM ET

Inventor Markets 'Smart' Pen to College Students

A smart pen unveiled Wednesday at a digital-technology conference in Carlsbad, Calif., isn't even on the market yet, but Rodney Brooks, director of the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, is already hailing its potential to change the way people process information, according to an article in The New York Times. The pen, which looks like an ordinary ballpoint, is embedded with a computer that photographs whatever is being written. The pen is also equipped with a microphone that records what is being spoken, so that people using the pen to take notes can later play back the recording and elaborate on their notes. In a docking station, the pen can transfer files to and from a PC. Jim Marggraff, inventor of the device, says he plans to market the pen for less than $200 to college students in the fall.

(Click on photograph below to view video that shows how pen works.) 

"Anyone that is writing notes on paper wants to capture the information, they want to access the information," Mr. Marggraff was quoted as saying in the article. "We are giving a way for people to essentially forget about forgetting."---Andrea L. Foster

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