Senstone may be one of the world’s smallest wearables — and perhaps one of the most useful.
The tiny device has one function: to help you keep track of your ideas, to-do lists, and notes while you’re on the go.
Senstone records voice memos, uploads them to an app, and transcribes them for you. The device is launching on Kickstarter Tuesday with the goal of raising US$50,000, but I got an early version of the Senstone to try out for myself.
Here’s how it works.
Senstone records voice notes that are then uploaded to an app on your iPhone. To record a note, you push a button on the side of the device. To stop recording, you press it again.
The device is designed to help 'capture the things in your daily life that you don't want to miss' -- things like goals, ideas, or notes. Rather than taking out your phone and typing out a note, Senstone wants to be like a low-effort journal.
Senstone pairs with your phone via Bluetooth and syncs up with an app. When it's connected, the device will automatically upload your recordings to the app.
A cool feature of Senstone is that it can still record offline and store the notes right in the device. Once you're online again, the recordings will upload to your phone.
Why would you need this feature? If you're someone who likes to brainstorm while jogging, for instance, you can clip it to your jacket and leave your phone at home.
The device can record for up to one minute at a time -- for now. Eventually, Senstone will be able to record for up to four hours offline, and longer when it's paired with your phone.
It comes with interchangeable backs that are easy to swap around. This one is attached to a short cord you can wear around your neck.
This one clips onto your short collar, which seems to be the easiest way to use Senstone, since the device should be no more than eight inches from your mouth when you record.
You can charge Senstone by sitting it in this charging dock, which connects to any USB port. Even after about a week of using it almost every day, I haven't had to charge it.
But the coolest part? Senstone's technology can automatically transcribe your notes for you, saving both a written version and the original recording and labelling them by the date, time, and location at which you recorded.
And by saying 'hashtag' and then a word before you stop recording your note, Senstone will identify that as a category tag. If you press the hashtag button at the top of the app, it will take you to all of your notes from your hashtagged categories.
When Senstone can't understand something you said, it keeps the recording but does not make an attempt to transcribe it. That only happened once while I was testing it (but there are also several accidental recordings of background noise saved in my app).
Luckily, you can delete notes you don't need or want. Swiping a note toward the left allows you to either share the note (by email, iMessage, Slack, etc.) or delete it.
So far, Senstone has been perfectly accurate -- except for once. Ironically, the only transcription error the device made while I was testing it was in spelling its own name.
The device is still in its early stages. Eventually, Senstones will have a second microphone to reduce noise and better capture sound, will be able to record by just tapping the screen or snapping your fingers, will have smarter artificial intelligence, and will work with more third-party apps -- right now, Senstone can sync up with your Evernote account.
But for those who prefer voice memos to typing notes, or need to transcribe several recordings (journalists, I'm looking at you), Senstone is a good deal: Early backers of Senstone's Kickstarter campaign can get the aluminium or plated brass versions of Senstone by pledging about AUD$105.
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