Plugged In: Working Smarter
In our workaday world, it’s often the little things that can make your day go smoothly. Here are a handful of new business products to consider for that very purpose.

We’ve tried several document-scanning pens in the past, and rejoiced at how easy it can be to “read” documents into your computer, line by line.

Now there is a way to read a page at a time. The DocuPen portable scanner is a battery-operated handheld scanner that scans a full page in one swipe, stores the data (up to 100 pages with 2 MBs of flash memory), and allows for easy transfer into your computer via a USB cable. There are hundreds of uses for this 1.75-ounce tool.

It takes a bit of getting used to the scanning motion, but once you get the hang of it, you’ll want to scan everything. The DocuPen ships with PaperPort software, which allows scan-downloading via e-mail, OCR capabilities (optical character recognition) and image recognition, making file manipulation a breeze.; $199.99

We’ve run the gamut from microcassette recorders to full-size handheld cassette recorders, to some of the earliest iterations of handheld digital recorders that, while a great idea, often didn’t hold enough recording time to make them worthwhile.

Now, Olympus offers the VN-240PC, a tiny digital handheld that packs a lot of punch. Not much larger than a pack of gum, it delivers up to four hours of recording time, a large LCD for easier location of files, and a zoom microphone to capture sound clearly and crisply.

But best of all, it connects to your PC via a USB cable, enabling you to dump your recordings as .wav files. It organizes and indexes up to 100 files in each of four folders.; $79.99

Here are three versions of the universal wireless headset, based on new magnetic-communication technology that creates a little near-field transmission bubble (rather than RF, or radio frequency, transmission) between the headphone and the wireless phone.

foneGear. This headset’s strength comes from its status as the lowest-power, most affordable noise-suppressing, wireless headset in this burgeoning market. You simply dock the headset in the base that attaches to your phone through a universal 2.5-mm headset jack.; $74.99

Unleash. The Unleash head-set recharges inside its battery-powered case for maximum portability. The earpiece is a bit heavy, but you get used to it.; $99

Cardo Systems Allways. The Allways Bluetooth-enabled headset is designed to clip on the temple of your eyewear for maximum support and comfort. It can also be worn over the ear. It relies on Bluetooth functionality, but comes with a BT adapter for non-BT mobile and smart-phones. You’ll enjoy the 30 feet of distance you can get away from your mobile phone.; $149.99

Technophile Don Campbell lives and writes in the Pacific Northwest.
Photo by Renata Kosina