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Phree Stylus Makes the World Your Paper, and Your Phone a Notepad

Phree is a new gadget that allows you to write or sketch on nearly any surface and save it digitally.

It's nice that we have our phones and tablets everywhere we go but trying to draw on the screen or write notes on a document is a pain, since your finger is too big and the screens weren't really designed to be written on. Phree is a new gadget that takes a different approach, somewhere between a stylus you use on your screen and a dedicated pen and tablet like artists use. It uses a tiny laser sensor somewhat like you'd find in a mouse to track the tip's movement with great precision, and sends that information to your device wirelessly — allowing you to write or sketch on nearly any surface and save it digitally.

Dor Nevo / OTM Technologies

Not only that, but there's a small screen on the battery-powered device that lets you quickly answer or dismiss calls or change the pen's settings without putting it down or opening up a separate app. The software understands handwriting, so you can reply to texts with a quick "There in five" or scrawl notes on a document and have it change to typed annotations. And it works as a wireless mouse for your laptop, too.

The team was looking for $100,000 on Kickstarter to help them get Phree out the door but they've already nearly quadrupled that goal, mostly in the form of pre-orders. You're too late to get one for under $150, but you can order a two-pack for $316 if you move fast.



—Devin Coldewey