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Definitely Not Your Average Black Pager

S . . . watch out! The Swiss company made famous in the ‘80s with its colorful and multitudinous watches entered the cyber age this month with its Beep Box pager.

Only recently have companies realized that technology doesn’t have to come in boring black plastic boxes. Macintosh and Nokia offer computers and cell phones in a range of designer colors. Swatch follows their lead. The Beep Box is available in orange, blue and gray, and comes with a matching holster. And despite its name, the Beep Box is round.

Developed with technical support from Motorola, the Beep Box ($100) features high-speed paging and a track ball instead of buttons. The screen shows only 12 characters at a time, but a scroll function allows the user to read longer messages. Two modes are available when receiving a page: It can vibrate or play a song.

Swatch has made more than 2,500 styles of watches since 1983. Only time will tell whether the Beep Box will enjoy the same celebrity.

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