Comdex: Pen maker Cross crosses over to PC

Writing instruments maker Cross is taking its pen expertise to the PC.

The venerable maker of ink pens is going electronic with the formation of a new Cross Pen Computing Group and a family of products. The firm showed products this week at Comdex in Las Vegas.

Cross's iPen is a standard pen lookalike that is powered by one AAAA battery and has a right mouse button on the barrel. To activate the left mouse button, users need to click on the pen tip. Cross says the product is superior to standard PC styluses in that it provides an experience akin to writing on paper.

The pen works with Cross's digitiser tablet on any PC. With Cross's Annotation Tool software, Word 97 documents can be marked up; users of Symantec WinFax Pro can also jot notes on fax documents. Other software supported includes Adobe Photo Deluxe, Corel Print and Corel Photo House, and IBM Ink Manager.

The firm also plans to ship a Digital Writer line of pens in several colours and designs to attract users of handheld PCs.