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The SmartPad2 To Hit Market In Next Month

NEW YORK — Seiko Instruments next month will ship the SmartPad2, an improved version of its PDA accessory.

The SmartPad2’s difference from the original, which has been available for 10 months, is it now works with the Handspring Visor, said Mike Del Vechio, Seiko’s general manager for sales and marketing. The initial incarnation only worked with Palm, Sony and IBM PDAs. Other changes include the addition of a small keyboard to the leather binder that holds the SmartPad giving users a third method of inputting data into their PDA.

“We think this expands the marketability of the product,” Del Vechio said, adding that Seiko has plans to develop a SmartPad that will work with PocketPC-based PDA’s. For the time being, the company is sticking with Palm OS-based models because those are the most popular with consumers.

Like the original, the SmartPad2 carries a $199 suggested retail price and features an electronic pen a paper pad that sits on an electronic tablet that allows a person’s notes to be directly downloaded to a PDA. The notes are captured as images and the handwriting is not translated to printed text.