One thing I’ve learned over the years: good ideas usually don’t come at convenient times. Today, a new Kickstarter project is launching that promises to ensure no time is inconvenient. Senstone is a tiny, button-like wearable device that records audio with the press of a button. Rote stuff, but it’s the companion software that really makes Senstone intriguing.
For the times when you can’t reach for a phone to get down your thoughts, voice recorders are pretty handy. But, tiny mics and audio recorders are just about a dime a dozen, and a lot of them have been placed in things like pens for easy recording of meetings. Senstone improves on that, putting a dual-mic array into a small device that can be worn as a pendant, clip-on button, or bracelet when paired with Senstone’s line of accessories. Doesn’t get much more convenient than having a one-touch audio recorder always within arm’s reach.
The companion app makes Senstone even more powerful. Instead of being limited to audio playback, the app can use machine learning to scan the audio recording and create a text transcript that can be searched, and keywords can be added by saying ‘hashtag’ before any word. Senstone is also claiming the app can handle punctuation recognition, so getting a clean transcript should be as simple as talking normally. It’s a huge improvement — listening to audio notes can be pretty time-consuming, especially given there’s no good way to search for exactly what you need. If you take a note every once in a while, Senstone says you should get about four days worth of battery life from the 80 mAh battery.
Senstone has Bluetooth connectivity, and can sync audio notes with the smartphone app upon connection. But, if you’re away from your phone when inspiration strikes, Senstone can store up to four hours of audio offline, so you’re still covered. Once the notes are uploaded and the transcripts are created, the notes are stored in the cloud, so they can be accessed from multiple devices.
Senstone works best when used about eight inches from your mouth, which is good news and bad news. If you wanted to use it to record an interview, a musical performance, or a lecture, it’ll probably fall short. On the bright side, the short-range tuning means that background noise will be minimized during recording. The app can also recognize background noise during analysis and keep it from degrading the quality of the transcript.
The app looks to be a powerful one, but if you’re already invested in Evernote, Senstone can be synced to your Evernote account. The creators say they’re working on compatibility with more third party apps before launching Senstone, too.
New features should come in the future. Senstone’s touch display is currently used to display different light patterns to signal actions like charging or recording, but eventually it’ll be able to start a recording (currently, a physical button on the side is used).
The Kickstarter campaign starts today, with $80 securing a Senstone unit as a super early bird deal. Once those are all gone, the price will go up to $100, then $120. As always, fair warning with a Kickstarter campaign — the promise of automated, searchable transcripts is really cool, but we’ve seen a lot of cool Kickstarter ideas over the years, and they haven’t always delivered. Here’s hoping — we’ll definitely be keeping our eyes on it!