iSpeech promises a revolution in text to speech with their free service. They say "Now anyone can listen to any text content with minimal effort, no software installation and no technical expertise." I tried and it's very good, but they are not currently allowing new users to register, and when you use the demo despite being able to download the audio you will always have "Text-To-Speech by iSpeech.org" at the beginning of your text to speech.
The next time you reach for a piece of paper and a pen – Don’t! Grab a Boogie Board instead, the tree-friendly alternative to memo pads, sketchbooks, sticky notes, dry erase boards and other writing/drawing mediums that can be re-used over 50,000 times. -----The site of the product asks "How Can You Use Your Boogie Board Tablet?" The answer is there too: Student - Practice cursive and print handwriting, solve multi-step math problems; Teacher - Memo pad, visual aid. They also have a school pilot program, to try out the Boogie Board tablet as a learning aid in USA schools.
I really liked it, but it doesn't seem that useful, just cute. What do you think?
PaperShow is a plug and play device that can change the way presentations are given and viewed. The package consists of a USB key that contains the PaperShow software, a PaperShow Bluetooth digital pen, and special interactive paper that transmits your notes onto the computer screen.
PaperShow was originally released as a Windows-only product. The Mac version made its debut in March, 2010. Set up is quick and easy—put the USB key into a USB port on your computer, and a window pops open. Inside this window is a install.zip file. Double click this file and follow the directions. Installation is very quick, and all files are on your key; nothing is left behind on your computer. Once the program is installed, pair the Bluetooth pen with the key. Again, quick and easy. The pen is paired with one specific key, so if another person has a PaperShow kit, their pen will not work with your USB key.
So how does PaperShow work? In a nutshell, the interactive paper is made up of microscopic dots that are "seen" by the camera in the Bluetooth pen. The user taps the pen onto the paper's toolbar to choose a color, line thickness or shape, then starts writing on the paper. What is created on the paper shows up on the computer screen (or projector, if the computer is hooked up to one) in real time.
All in all, there are a lot of positive features of PaperShow. Once you've finished with a whiteboard or Power Point it can be emailed or exported right from the key as an image file or PDF file. Rather than taking notes at a meeting, participants can focus on the discussion and read the notes later in their email. Workers unable to attend a meeting can be kept up-to-date quickly and easily. PaperShow can also be used for web conferencing. Teachers can save presentations from year to year and make them more interactive and interesting for the students. Since files are saved to the key and not the computer, PaperShow can be used with any computer. And, its small form factor makes it very convenient to carry in a backpack or briefcase.
The biggest drawback with PaperShow is the severe lack of Mac support. The web site has not been updated to reflect the new Mac based product—it still lists PaperShow for Mac as pending. Until that changes I'm afraid many businesses won't want to risk using this product. The cost may also be a factor. The starter kit, which retails for $199 US, contains a Bluetooth pen, USB key, 48 sheet notepad for whiteboard, 30 sheets of PaperShow printer paper, a pencil case to store the pen, key, battery and ink refills (both included), colored rings to customize the pen and key, and a ring binder to hold the printed sheets. All consumables can be purchased separately; as of April, 2010 prices were $12.99 for 48 sheets of whiteboard paper, and $19.99 for 200 sheets of printer paper. The USB key, Bluetooth pen, and ink cartridges are also available at varying prices. Amazon is currently selling these items at deep discounts. While $199 may seem costly, it really depends on how PaperShow is used. If you present a lot of the same Power Point presentations over and over again, PaperShow could be quite cost effective.