Mental Floss

Video Games Running on a Pen. That You Write With. A Pen.

Chris Higgins

From the "I Didn't Know They Could Put a Computer in That" department, apparently the Livescribe Echo™ Smartpen is a pen computer that runs software. No, it's not a tablet -- it's a computer inside a pen. Out of the box, the pen has handwriting/drawing recording, audio recording, a built-in display with clock, a speaker, and various apps. The thing even has an App Store. Um. So yeah, now your pen can be smart too. In my day, it was pretty sweet if your pen had a decent grip and a way to change the ink cartridge...soon, technophiles will be comparing tech specs on their pens. (This one is available in 4GB and 8GB models.)

Shown below: an enterprising programmer got his hands on one of these and built a Tic-Tac-Toe game, and then ported the classic text adventure Zork. Onto a pen. You write what you want to do, and the pen displays the text of its replies on its built-in screen. I'm going to go take a little future-shock nap now.