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Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Toy Pen - Rewriting the Internet

Perhaps you heard about LeapFrog's most popular toy this Christmas - the Fly Pen. Children using the Fly Pen have the ability to write words on digital paper and the pen understands them. Additionally the pen can name a state and the child can point to the state on a map, printed on digital paper; the pen will tell the child whether he or she is correct.

At first, Fly Pen simply sounds like a fun toy, but Anoto, a Swedish high-tech company who developed the underlying technology for the pen, hopes to bring the pen to the business and consumer worlds.

Fly Pen believes that the Fly Pen can be used to order flowers with the user telling the pen what it wants and the pen referring the buyer to a flower shop. The pen can also tell the buyer what types of flowers are available and the specials the store is offering.

Although an earlier version of the pen was developed and licensed by Logitech International, a Swiss company, theirs only offered one-way communication options. Anoto has bright hopes for the future, though, with their CEO of the U.S. subsidary, Jim Marggraff saying, "This is ultimately a billion-dollar industry, built on a platform that is already a success. We turn every page in your notebook into a Web page and any service you can do online."

Learn more about the possibilities that the pen will offer for the future in the article, Toy pen is poised to rewrite Internet access: New technology behind LeapFrog's innovative tool (link above).

Posted by Joshua Feinberg