Sunday, March 19, 2006

Quoted - National Post - DigiMemo

I received a nice surprise late last night when a friend e-mailed me and told me that I had been quoted in the National Post. The piece is called The Luddite's BlackBerry and the piece was written by Angela Brunschot. I was asked to share my thoughts on a new device called the DigiMemo.

Of course, it was approaching midnight, and the National Post is not one of the papers that arrives at my house every morning. So after sharing the happy news with my wife, I followed her suggestion to head over to the 24-hour grocery nearby and see if they still had a copy.

I disappeared into the night and managed to find the paper in question. When I went to pay for it, I was politely advised by the very helpful cashier that, since it was after midnight, she could no longer sell the paper. But she would give it to me for free as long as I accepted said paper without the masthead. (Like, sure!)

Out came the little scissors. Back went my money into my pocket. Home I went with my prize. Sometimes, the work that I do is cool beyond words.

Click on the image above to bring up the high-res version. Here's the full text:
For those few who have yet to master the art of thumbing their notes into a hand-held device, there's a low-tech, reasonably priced alternative.

The DigiMemo is a handwriting-recognition device that records your notes, scribbles and doodles, which can then be uploaded to your computer in the form of images or text files. You simply write on regular paper with the special Digital Inking Pen, then you plug the device into your computer's USB port to transfer your work. The files can be exported straight to Word documents or e-mails.

The technology is nothing new, says Carmi Levy, a senior research analyst at Info-Tech Research, in London, Ont., which provides IT research and advice to mid-sized businesses. He describes the DigiMemo as a "glorified electronic clip board."

Technically speaking, the DigiMemo uploads files in jpg or giff format. What that means is you get a digital picture of your notes. The MyScript Notes handwriting-recognition software transforms your notes from written to typed documents. The results are not 100% accurate, but you can train the program to pick up certain nuances of your handwriting.

"There is no such thing as perfect conversion yet. The human voice and the human hand are still too variable for computers to follow perfectly," says Mr. Levy.

The DigiMemo is manufactured by Selwyn Electronics, a U.K. company (selwyn.co.uk). The starter package costs about $130 before shipping. The software is about $70, and spare pens around $30 each.

If you prefer to dictate notes into your computer, voice recorders with voice-to-text software are another option. Sony has a version that is priced around $400. It includes a storage feature that allows you to use memory sticks or media cards to store recordings (ICDMX20, sonystyle.ca). Panasonic also has a voice recorder with voice-to-text software that costs about $200 (RRUS050, panasonic.ca).

© National Post 2006

12 comments:

Shane said...

looks kinda cool though - sort of impractical ESPECIALLY since many of us keyboarders have atrocious handwriting. We can upload a bunch of indiscernable scribbling.

The Torch Singer said...

You are so cool!!!!

I love how you went to the store etc....

woohooo

Good for you!

Michele sent me..........

Nadia :)

Heather said...

Sounds very cool. I would have to improve my hand writing to ensure at least a 95% accuracy rate. :) Michele sent me!

Plumkrazzee said...

Hooray! I must go get my papers after midnight from now on. =) MSM AGAIN! AND AGAIN! AND AGAIN!

Sandy said...

I'm with Nadia. You're so cool. Really, it never gets old to see your name in print, does it? Congrats on another good quoting.

Visiting through Michele's tonight.

srp said...

Sometimes fate deals you just a little happy! Free paper. Good happy! Here from Michele.

Pearl said...

Well, there you go. You're eminently quotable.

Glad to warm your heart cockles with the calf.

Marcia said...

cool!

Here from Michele's.

kenju said...

Well it took a long time, but Blogger finally repaired itself and I am able to make good on my promise to visit you!
I supppose the Digimemo has features to recommend it, but if we wanted to handwrite, why don't we just pick up a pen?

Michele sent me (originally).

Anita said...

First things first - Congratulations on the mention in the Post!!!

But I will say tht gadget sounds very cool to me. I like to write longhand, but hate to retype so I'm often tied to my computer when I don't want to be. And I don't want to invest and lug around a laptop either.

Maybe this invention is for me??

Prego said...

Dang. I've been made to pay for 'yesterday's papers.' You Canadians are indeed a progressive culture.

Now if you could just do something about Patty Sullivan's quirky musical numbers on Kids CBC and bring back the Littlest Hobo, I might stop referring to your country as a 'glorified Minnesota.'
;)

Natsthename said...

Let me write that down into my Palm ...tee hee.

That's very cool!