High-Tech Office Help

From the December 2013 issue of Columbus CEO

Hammacher  Schlemmer (hammacher.com) constantly offers the kind of gadgets you don’t find in other stores or from other sources.  They’re gadgets you didn’t think existed, but you know you want once you see them.

Two recently caught my eye—the Pen Sized Scanner ($125) and the iPad Pen ($170).

The Pen Sized Scanner may look like a normal aluminum pen, but it literally scans documents as large as 8½ inches by 11inches with a push of a button.

This gadget has a built-in autofocus lens that can record 5-megapixel images. Pressing the shutter button half way projects a laser outline on to your document. By raising and lowering the pen, you select the information you want to scan. The scan begins when you fully push that same button. Removing the pen’s tip exposes its USB plug, which you can use to download your scans to either a PC or a MAC.

This gadget has 1GB of memory capable of holding up to 1,000 JPEG images. A microphone built into the pen also allows you to record voice memos

The iPad Pen is a specialized stylus that allows you to draw pictures or take notes on your iPad, just as you would if you were writing on a pad of paper. When paired with either of two free iPad apps—FlyNotes or IdealNotes—and the wireless infrared receiver that comes with this stylus, your iPad becomes a virtual notepad.

With this device you can annotate PDFs as well as apply your signature to PDF contracts. Your notes or annotated documents will be saved as JPEG images.

All products from Hammacher Schlemmer come with an unconditional guarantee that you’ll be satisfied or you can return the product and get your money back. Give either of these gadgets a try if they seem like the kind of products that might meet your needs or, at least, strike your fancy.



Gift Ideas for Tech-savvy kids

Ubooly iPhone and iPod Interactive Pets ($30 at amazon.com) are stuffed animals with a digital twist. Insert your iPhone or iPod in the character’s face and your child will be able to play interactive games or listen to stories or jokes shared by his or her stuffed friend. Designed mainly for children aged 4 to 9, this gadget will remember things about your child and gets smarter over time.

Hasbro’s FurReal Friends ($20 to $59 at Target) are stuffed animals that behave like their real animal counterparts. They move their mouth when fed, laugh when tickled and close their eyes when they’re rocked to sleep at bedtime. Characters include Cuddles My Giggly Monkey, Daisy Plays With Me Kitty and Trixie The Skateboarding Pup.