The Bangladeshi/South Asian Perspective
Official Link: Dhaka Courier
Gadgets have pheromones emanating from them. With a glance at them, you want them for yourself. I know I speak for 80% of the Dhaka-ites and even the 50+ age group.
However, the gadget I shall unveil today is one that was presented to me as a shackle or a fetter – whichever you will, but it was impressive nonetheless. I was doing some freelance work for an NGO in Dhaka where several Professors from Vanderbilt University (USA) gave the project workers these pens. Interestingly the pens were fatter than usual and I knew there was a catch. It was for the project documentation purpose, just to be precise. It was later learned that those pens had ‘internet’ embedded in them and recorded whatever was written instantaneously and was uploaded to the internet for the supervisors to see. This was a confounding situation. I could not love and hate the gadget at the same time but the rational mind should prefer love over war.
The Livescribe Sky WiFi Smartpen
This ‘smart’ pen is indeed very smart and my (true) story attests to that. And why not? It writes, it records and it uploads! Even though I was greeted by the pen with a surveillance undertone, it is a great tool.
Since I have an intrinsic allergy to ‘paper-less’ offices and the bragging about ‘paperless’ entities because let’s face it – good old fashion paper and pens are not something you can replace. You can certainly be more efficient with the digital amenities but the basics shall be omnipresent and I seldom like to jot down things than type them up. Therefore, I love the way this nifty gadget captures both the approaches.
In the modern world, it’s no surprise that we have a hard time keeping track of our written notes and just about anything paper oriented. While the LiveScribe Sky WiFi Smartpen won’t be able to keep tabs on your paperback books, it will help you organize all of your hand written notes along with audio in one succinct manner.
What separates the Sky WiFi Smartpen from other transcribing pens of this ilk, is its ability to record audio simultaneously. This comes most in handy if you are lost about something written and forgot the context. You just simply tap on the portion of the drawing and the audio playback will skip back to that point.
The Sky WiFi Smartpen comes in three sizes (2GB, 4GB, 8GB), though all transcriptions are automatically sent to Evernote, an OCR app that now boasts 40 million users. The storage is monolithic to facilitate the storing of audio. The 2GB, 4GB and 8GB versions store 200 hours, 400 hours and 800 hours of audio respectively.
Bangladeshi Users’ Exclusive
This one is for everyone! It is for the offices because you want to keep tabs on what is happening around as you write down a memo. More importantly, it is very useful for class notes. Students have not moved on to laptops yet here in Bangladesh. Therefore, whenever something is written on a copy, the careless student has always the fear of losing the notebook. Thus, he can retain all his notes from the pen itself. In the future, tech savvy teachers can supply the pens and take the tests or exams without having to take home scripts from the students!
Therefore, this gadget is not too high tech – but that’s a good thing for us. The downside is: we do not always have constant internet access in Bangladesh. For that, you may not always take full advantage of the cloud capabilities but you can certainly reap the other benefits. The pens are going for Tk. 12,000 to Tk. 20,000 based on storage size in BCS Computer City (IDB Bhaban) and Bashundhara City.
Using this nifty gadget, you’ll be able to send notes directly to Dropbox, Facebook, and Google Drive. This is a tool that is very useful and not just for aesthetics and vanity.