Cool Tools
By Peter Lewis

(FORTUNE Magazine) – New on DVD

Samsung's Extiva DVD N2000 is the first DVD player equipped with VM Lab's NUON technology. This allows the viewer to perform all sorts of tricks with a DVD movie or DVD-based videogame, including panning from side to side, zooming in on scenes with up to 20x magnification, and going forward and backward frame by frame. When the N2000 is used to play audio CDs, a Virtual Light Machine generates psychedelic images on the TV screen in sync with the music. Toshiba has its own NUON-enhanced deck in the works.

Will gamers find those tricks groovy enough? After all, in just a few weeks Sony's PlayStation 2 will come to the U.S. with its own DVD-playing capabilities.

Samsung Extiva N2000 Adds special effects to audio, DVD, and videogame disks.

Get a Grip

Anoto's digital ink pen, which is not expected to be on sale until next year, uses the emerging Bluetooth wireless networking technology to send handwritten messages or drawings over the Net. This prototype has a tiny digital camera, which takes 100 pictures a second of what is being written, and a Bluetooth modem to send a digital copy to a Bluetooth-enabled cell phone, which in turn sends it to the Internet. The catch--besides an expected $100 price tag--is that the pen requires special dotted paper, and messages may cost about 15 cents each to send.

Anoto digital ink pen Due in 2001, it sends handwritten notes over the Internet.

I Can Hear Clearly Now

Harman Kardon's new three-piece SoundSticks speaker package is eyes and ears above most other sound systems for the Apple Macintosh (sorry, Windows users). The set consists of a clear plastic subwoofer and a pair of clear ten-inch tweeters. There are a few sour notes, though. There is no volume control on the speakers, forcing the user to adjust sound via the computer screen or, on the newest Macs, keyboard buttons. The speakers also require Mac OS 9.0.4. Even so, the sound quality is significantly superior to the spherical speakers that come with the new Cube.

Harman Kardon SoundSticks Sound as good as they look. $199