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Tools of the Trade: June 2016

By Michael Castelluccio
June 1, 2016
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06_2016_tools

 

1. SPEECH AIR

 

The Philips SpeechAir smart voice recorder is a mobile recorder that has built-in Wi-Fi and three dedicated microphones. You can encrypt recordings in real time as you make them and, after recording, save the file or select between two transcription options. Send the recording back to your assistant or to the SpeechLive transcription service to get a finished text file. The three microphones let you choose from a 360-degree option that serves well at meetings, a directional microphone to avoid extraneous noise in crowded environments, or direct VoIP telephone recording. The built-in Wi-Fi connection gives access to e-mails and calendar and can be used for the VoIP recordings. The SpeechAir is also Bluetooth-enabled and has a USB port. There’s a device lock with PIN-code password protection. The encryption is Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) 256-bit. A built-in camera lets you attach photos to your dictations, and the barcode scanner lets you link client data to a recording by scanning a QR or barcode. The screen is scratch-resistant Gorilla Glass, and the housing is antimicrobial synthetics. www.dictation.philips.com

 

2 PUNKT.

 

Punkt. proudly describes its MP01 (mobile phone 01) as a dumbphone for those who are experiencing increasing fatigue due to the demands of the supercomputer in their pocket. The Swiss company was founded by Petter Neby, who explains, “Punkt. is about using technology to help us adopt good habits for less distracted lives.” The MP01 is a phone and a text-messaging tool with an intuitive center-focused UI. It has a monthly view calendar, an alarm clock, notification center, simple navigation, and Bluetooth. That’s all for just $295. Oh, the really unique design is by the renowned British industrial designer Jasper Morrison, and the bespoke ringtones were created by the Norwegian sound artist Kjetil Røst Nilsen. The charge time for the battery is two hours, which produces 500 hours of standby time. www.punkt.ch

 

3 OASIS

 

At about the same time that Amazon released its lowest-price Fire Tablet (under $50), the company also released its most expensive e-reader, the Kindle Oasis (starts at $289). The Oasis comes with a leather charging cover that stores a charge that lasts for months, not weeks. It’s the lightest (4.6 ounces) and thinnest (0.13″) of all Kindles, with a tapered design for one-handed operation. It has the highest resolution with a 300 ppi, 6″ display. Ten LEDs produce even lighting across the page rather than projecting the page at you, as with backlit tablets. You can charge both the reader and the cover at the same time, and the reader is continuously recharged by the cover to provide maximum battery life. And like the other Kindles, it can hold thousands of books. www.amazon.com

 

4 HESPERUS

 

With all the smart devices now appearing in homes, from lights to locks to alarms, it’s time to consider remote monitoring. If you use Apple’s HomeKit to make your smarthome products work together, you might want to look at an app like Hesperus to organize your controls. The app lets you check in on and control all of the HomeKit devices. You’re offered three ways to organize your smart devices on your phone, tablet, or iPod. Use Scenes to group devices related by time, such as when you leave in the morning or retire at night. Schedules groups routines, and Actions lets you group event-triggered sequences. https://hesperus.io

 

Michael Castelluccio has been the Technology Editor for Strategic Finance for 21 years. His SF TECHNOTES blog is in its 19th year. You can contact Mike at mcastelluccio@imanet.org.


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