Edu Inventor Points Computer Pen at College Students

Educational tool developer and inventor Jim Marggraff last week unveiled a new pen computer that is literally that--a pen with a computer, microphone, and camera stuffed inside it.

Marggraff, who debuted the device at the All Things Digital conference last week in Carlsbad, CA, said he would market it to college students this fall for less than $200.

The pen computer photographs what is written and records what is spoken and can be docked to a computer for file transfer. Users can mark the audio stream to the notepad so that particular parts of the audio can be found and replayed quickly.

Marggraff has been associated with toymaker Leapfrog and has developed a series of talking books and other educational devices.

Rodney Brooks, director of the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, told the New York Times he thought the pen had potential. "The challenge, like with all technologies, is to package it in a way that people will want to use," he told the Times.

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About the Author

Paul McCloskey is contributing editor of Syllabus.

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