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by Shaheen Samavati

Kent, Ohio — Local technology company Kent Displays Inc. has launched a product that it says could transform the way people take notes.

The Boogie Board is an electronic writing tablet that uses unique liquid crystal display technology and needs virtually no power to operate.

KDI, which is selling the device through a subsidiary called Improv Electronics, says the Boogie Board is a less wasteful alternative to mediums that require paper, ink pens, chalk, or dry-erase markers. It can be used to write grocery lists, jot down messages, or just doodle. The push of a button brings you back to a blank slate.

The company, which employs about 75 in Kent, said it saw unexpected demand for the product that launched last month, just a week before the release of Apple’s highly anticipated iPad.

“The tech community was salivating for information about a tablet,” said Kent Display’s chief executive Albert Green. “I think every technology blog in the world ran something about the Boogie Board.”

But, despite being a similar shape, the Boogie Board has little in common with Apple’s latest gadget. The iPad, which retails for $500, is a much more complex device that allows users to watch videos, surf the Web, and run software applications.

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