There’s a lot of value in the pens and paper we’ve largely left behind or delegated to the specialists. Some of us can write better than we swipe; others just want to be able to sketch or hand-write something occasionally without having to track down an art store or haul a giant pad and some paper along with us. And for the list-writers, the sketchers, and the others, there’s a new, useful tool called Phree. For another high-quality piece of tech, take a look at how the Philips S10 stacks up against your current smartphone.


Phree’s pretty simple: You charge it up, and pull it out when you want to write something. It pairs with your device, and then you simply… write. On what? On anything! Pretty much all you need for the Phree to work is a flat-ish surface and your imagination. If you’re at a table, write or draw on it, and it jumps instantly to your device. The Phree tracks how your hand moves and what you’re writing with the “pen” on the surface and lets you store all the things you need.

And, yes, you can use it to write on the back of your hand. Just don’t expect the old “I accidentally washed off the ink” excuse to work now that the ink is digital.


phree 1

If you miss pen and paper, but don’t miss lugging around pen and paper, well, we can’t blame you. But the Phree is a useful solution for artists, students, handwriting fans, and people who just enjoy documenting their thoughts by writing on a surface. If that’s you, the Phree is currently taking preorders for $200.

Dan Seitz

Dan Seitz is an obsessive nerd living in New England. He lives in the Boston area with a fiancee, a dog, a cat, and far too many objects with processors.

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