It's getting easier than ever to work with other people thousands of miles away. The latest handy helper comes in the form of Hewlett-Packard Co.'s OmniShare, an appliance that lets even people who never touch a personal computer work jointly on documents and diagrams. The $2,595 device, which hooks up between a phone and phone line, features a notebook-sized screen with a pen that triggers on-screen icons to find files, mark them up, and even send them to a PC.

That's not the only thing that sets OmniShare apart from software-based document conferencing products such as Intel Corp.'s ProShare. Developed with AT&T, Logitech, Hitachi, and Traveling Software, the device requires only one phone line for voice and data. It's also more intuitive than PC-based products, HP says. To send a file to somebody, for instance, you simply point to an icon representing that file and drag it onto a telephone icon. You can easily "zoom in" on a blueprint by pointing to a magnifying-glass icon. HP is aiming OmniShare at architects, lawyers, industrial designers, and others who may not be comfortable with PCs.

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