Home Control Center Technically Speaking - Episode 1
The Control Center

Technically Speaking - Episode 1

There are three words tech expert Andru Edwards takes seriously: speed, choice and control. In every episode of National’s Technically Speaking, Andru highlights one of his favorite products in each of those categories that will make your life easier on the road, at work or at home. Here are his picks this episode:

Speed: The Bamboo Spark by Wacom

What it is: Smart Notebook that digitizes handwritten notes to digital files
Available at: www.wacom.com

Never lose a million dollar idea again. The Bamboo Spark is a smart folio that holds physical paper and has a smart ballpoint pen. It converts your handwritten notes to text that you can then digitally edit. The notes can be saved to your device or to the cloud for easy access and then shared via PDF and JPG files.

Choice: SCiO DietSensor

What it is: Molecular scanner that instantly evaluates food’s nutritional information
Available at: www.dietsensor.com

Eating healthy on the road is tough, but the SCiO Dietsensor and App makes it easier. With one click, the scanner tells you all the nutritional information you need to know. It counts carbs and calories, measures body fat and stores the information in a personalized app to help you stay on target with your health goals.

Control: Amazon Echo Dot

What it is: Mobile hands-free, voice-controlled smart home device
Available at: www.amazon.com

Meet Alexa’s little sister. The Amazon Echo Dot does everything the Amazon Echo does, including controlling all of your smart home products, but in a much smaller package. The Amazon Echo Dot is completely mobile, allowing you to be the master of your domain anywhere you go.

How do Andru’s picks hold up in everyday life? Three National Emerald Club road warriors tested out The Bamboo Spark in their daily lives and gave us their feedback:

“This product improves how much stuff I take with me to meetings. I can take less. For people who lose notes a lot, this will help keep them in one spot. For people who work with training and execution, this will help ensure that the original notes stay with the person who was walking with you. I can leave my handwritten notes with my co-workers, email a copy of the notes to their supervisor and then keep a copy for reference or for a follow-up visit.”

- Branden J., Damascus, Ore.

“I am a tactile learner, so writing things down helps me remember. I have used it in replace of my notebooks. It's handy to upload my notes - super easy actually. I write a lot of notes in the morning of my to dos, and this could take the place of those many Post-its, easily.”

- Shelly B., Yarmouth, Maine

“I like the ability to use old-fashioned writing that connects your ideas and creativity to today's technology. This is a unique play on the old and new world and allows individuals to explore without learning an entirely new way of doing things. There is no learning curve – and that's the beauty of it. It will work for young and old. It is lightweight and easily tucks in a purse, briefcase or suitcase, you can quickly jot down info on the run and that information is retained until you're back at your desk or home.”

- Jackie M., Plattsburg, N.Y.