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LiveScribe's pen computer delayed to '08

Start-up says pen won't be broadly available to consumers until the first quarter as the company fine-tunes its software and development tools.

The digital pen from start-up LiveScribe won't be available to put under the Christmas tree, CNET has learned.

The pen, which can record both sound and handwritten notes, was supposed to make its debut in the fourth quarter, according to an announcement in May. However, the company now plans a formal launch for January, while the product won't be broadly available to consumers until later in the quarter--possibly late March--a company representative told on Monday.

Credit: LiveScribe
An updated rendering of the
digital pen that LiveScribe plans
to bring to market early next year.

"They are just doing a lot of fine-tuning of the software and the applications and the development tools, and didn't want to come out in the market until things were perfect," the LiveScribe representative said.

LiveScribe is one of a host of companies putting a new twist on the idea of a computer inside a pen. The company, which includes former executives from LeapFrog and Palm, made a splashy debut at the D: All Things Digital conference earlier this year, but has been silent since. A representative said the company made the decision to delay the product's launch in recent days.

The company hasn't given too many specifics on the pen, but has said it will have a built-in display, be capable of syncing an audio recording of a meeting with handwritten notes, and will sell for less than $200.