Mightier Than the Analog Pen

Take notes at a meeting with pen and paper, return to your office, and transfer your handwriting to your computer in an instant. That's what you can do with Logitech's new IO Personal Digital Pen.

The $200 gizmo incorporates a tiny camera that records a pattern of dots you create when you write on specially designed paper. When you put the pen into a dock that connects to a Windows PC through a USB port, the pen's "digital ink" is transferred. Then, an image of what you wrote can be pasted into many applications, including Microsoft Word.

With good handwriting-recognition software, this would be a killer app. But Logitech says the software available isn't yet up to snuff. And the special writing paper is pricey: A three-pack of 160-page notebooks costs $24.99. Still, if the IO catches on, prices for the pens and paper are bound to drop.

By Steve Wildstrom

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