You Could Use It to Write, but That’s the Least of Its Abilities


DataPen can do almost everything but talk.

This oversized pen is also an electronic organizer complete with a scheduler, clock and calculator. Just open up the side panel and check your options.

Due out in a few weeks from Tiger Electronics, DataPen features a 100-year calendar; a place to keep phone numbers, addresses or birthdays; and a memo feature for notes and reminders up to 70 characters long. You can set the time, day and date, even an alarm, and create a four-character password to keep your information private.

The drawback: the numbers and letters are tiny, so you’d better have good eyesight or memorize the keyboard. The little keys are too small for fingers to operate them, but the clip on the cap of the unusual pen does it just fine.


DataPen (suggested retail, $24.99 to $29.99) will be available at Wal-Mart and Kmart stores.


Traveling Light: The Illuminator is an automotive exterior rear-vision mirror with several safety features we haven’t seen before. Illuminator includes a high intensity light that is activated by a remote control the driver presses when nearing the car after dark. A bright beam illuminates a 2 foot by 4 foot area on the side of the car and the ground. The light stays on for 25 seconds or until the car starts.

Turn signals are also integrated into the mirror, and it features electrochomic dimming, which means its electronic sensors automatically dim when they detect headlight glare.

Manufacturer Donnelly Corp. will begin offering the Illuminator on a U.S. luxury car coming out this fall. Reps won’t say what car, though. There are currently no plans to make the Illuminator available as an aftermarket product. Maybe there should be.


Germ of an Idea: Playskool has added a new feature to its popular 1-2-3 High Chair--a permanent antibacterial coating to protect children from many bacteria, molds and fungi that possibly could cause illnesses. Microban antibacterial protection, which is colorless and odorless, is built into the plastic tray, and, unlike surface coatings, does not wash off. Hasbro is now test marketing the chair in eight cities, including Los Angeles. The regular 1-2-3 chair retails for $69.95; one with Microban, $79.95. Call (800) PLAYSKL.