Did your school notes never make any sense? Did you look back at them, shrug and say, "Well, I guess the Revolutionary War wasn't that important"? What if your incomprehensible scribbling matched up with what the professor was actually saying at the time you wrote them down? That's the idea of the SmartPen, a "paper-based computer" that digitizes your writing and syncs it to an audio file that the pen records simultaneously, letting you use your notes as markers for when you play it back.
The company that makes it, LiveScribe, plans to sell the pens soon for under $200. Of course, in order for it to sync notes to audio, you'll have to write on patented "dot paper." But the good news is that you can print that special paper from your home computer. Once you do, it becomes the super pen: like the Fly Pentop Computerfor kids that was so popular last Christmas, it can solve math problems for you. And LiveScribe has its own handwriting-recognition software, so maybe it'll be able to figure out what you're trying to write, even when you can't.