The Station got a surprising number of communications (emails, social networking IMs, etc.) about yesterday's story on the NeatDesk and Neat Receipt, so we might as well keep the personal storage ball rolling with another late gift suggestion.
This time it's a slightly different kind of storage -- voice storage. After all, digital voice is just another type of file.
The item is the ivee (yes, lower case) Flex clock radio with voice control. It looks like a normal clock radio, but rest assured, this doesn't act like one. She's sort of a cousin of Siri, but a lot more focused on specific duties.
This one has AM/FM radio, a nice big (5-inch) LCD display for time/temperature/date/alarm, a night light, and a lot of personality. All you have to do is be within about a 10-foot radius of the device, and say, "Hello Ivee!" Ivee then very politely responds to more than 40 different voice-activated commands. This includes instructions such as "time," "temperature," "play radio," and others. In addition, Flex features with six calming sleep sounds (the ocean, harp music, piano music), designed to scientifically induce a state of relaxation.
In addition to ivee Flex, ivee Digit features a 3-inch LCD display and responds to more than 30 voice-activated commands, including time, date and temperature announcements. Ivee Digit's LCD backlight is fully adjustable, while her three sleep sounds were designed to evoke a calming state.
This is v1.0 of the device, so there are improvements undoubtedly on the way for subsequent versions. For example, once the radio is on -- and the sound quality is very good -- ivee herself cannot hear your voice command. So you'll have to turn it off manually. Not a big problem, though.
Wow, are we getting spoiled by IT, or what? The answer would be an unequivocal "yes." But that's the fun of new devices like this.
Ivee is like having a smart little English-accented assistant in the room with you at all times, ready to serve your time, temperature, radio and alarm needs on a moment's notice. She doesn't need coffee, words of encouragement, vacation, or a Christmas gift, although you might feel like providing her with all of those.
Be sure to introduce her to your wife or partner first, though. You need to make sure she knows this is strictly a business relationship.
The Flex retails for about $70, and the Digit goes for $60. Sharper Image's site has the Flex for $60 today. The Station says check it out.
Have great holidays, everyone!