Despite being surrounded by gadgets, there is a large number of people who still like putting pen to paper. A new device from Wacom called Bamboo Spark combines that tactile writing experience with our devices.
Whatever you write on the pad can be transferred wirelessly to the Bamboo Spark app on your device so the digital note can be stored and shared or converted to text and edited.
The Bamboo Spark is a smart folio with a pad on the right side, a pen and a space on the left for a digital device up to 9.7-inches in size.
It is compact and light and easy enough to carry with you anywhere in your bag or in your hand.
It’s aimed at the user who owns a device but that still likes to jot down notes or draw on a pad.
The Bamboo Spark comes with an A5 pad (that’s half the size of an A4 pad) and you can use your own – and the Bamboo Spark smart pen.
The device syncs wirelessly with your iPhone, iPad or Android smartphone or tablet running the Bamboo Spark app.
Operation is fairly simple. Once the Bamboo Spark is synced with your device (that takes a few seconds) then whatever you write on the pad with the Bamboo Spark smart pen is sent to the app one page at a time.
The magic happens with the Bamboo Spark pen which can record every stroke you write and store it aboard the folio which has room to store up to 100 pages.
Once you’ve finished writing on that page – you press the button to the left of the pad and you’ll see the app on your device starting to download that page.
A second later you’ll see an exact copy of it with your handwriting on the device’s screen.
Now that you’ve got a digital version of the page, you’ve got a few options.
You separate your notes from a single page to multiple digital pages if you want.
Users can export their completed notes as an image or as a PDF and even convert it to text.
As an image or a PDF you’ve just got an image of the page and attach it to an email, a text message, on social media as well as share it to cloud storage services like Dropbox and Evernote.
And all of your notes will always be stored in the Wacom (creators of the Bamboo Spark) Cloud so you can access your notes from any device and from your computer.
All of your digital notes – even of they haven’t been converted to text – are also searchable as well.
This is a handy feature that you can’t do with a real notepad – but with the Bamboo Spark it is a reality.
If you decide to convert what you’ve written to text, then it can also be edited.
At the moment, the Export as Text on the Bamboo Spark app is in beta.
Depending on how clearly you write, the conversion is about 80 per cent accurate.
If your handwriting is untidy you’ll get some amusing translations or completely garbled words.
But we expect this feature to improve with the next few app updates.
The Bamboo Spark folio can be adapted for left and right handed writers and users can also choose their preferred layout – with the device to the left or right of the pad or above or below it.
This flexibility means you’re not restricted in the way you like to write or draw.
The Bamboo Spark has an internal battery that can be recharged with an included microUSB cable.
The Bamboo Spark smart pen also comes with two spare ink cartridges.
Bamboo Spark is available now in two versions – one with a gadget pocket that can fit your smartphone and the other with a tablet sleeve that can hold a tablet up to 9.7-inches in size.
It is priced at $249 and available from Apple Stores, JB Hi-Fi, Harvey Norman and the Wacom store at buywacom.com.au