I’ve used a few “digital pens” over the years, products like Livescribe which use special paper combined with a high-tech pen to allow you to create digital notes and keep those jottings and sketches stored digitally for easy reference. I’ve had the Bamboo Spark sitting here for a little while and am both impressed and puzzled by it – but know there’s a market for it too.
Perhaps it’s because I simply don’t take notes any more that I struggled to get the gist of this little gadget early on. As I rarely if ever carry a pen and paper it’s an adjustment to get the idea of making notes or sketching ideas.
But it’s perhaps the sketching ideas that is where this product suits most.
The Bamboo Spark is a notepad, normal plain paper, a Bamboo branded Pen and a special Digital cover for the notepad. Together they create the overall product. Separately, they are an expensive pen or folio and an A5 notepad.
Setting the Spark up is simple – in fact a breeze, top marks to the Bamboo team for their work here. Download the app, launch it, follow the instructions and you’re up and running in about 2 minutes.
Notes you take are not transmitted in real-time, you’re not seeing your pen-strokes on the screen of your device in real-time – the concept here is to make your notes and then synchronise either after each note or as you’re done.
It is a package deal. You can’t use your own Pen. The tip of the Spark pen activates the “recording” and sensors under the note pad determine where you’re drawing or writing.
You can use your own paper or note pad, as long as it’s not too thick (tried that, doesn’t work!).
No reason to lose any data too – all the notes can be synced to a “Wacom” Cloud – Wacom being the company behind the Bamboo Spark product.
And for your hand-written notes, there’s text conversion so notes can be shared via email or into Evernote or OneNote – though you’ll need to be neat and tidy with your notes.
As a tool to keep and then share the notes you make, it’s sensational. RRP is $249, but you’ll find it for under $200 at Harvey Norman.
If you like to sketch your ideas or take lots of notes worth sharing among your team – the Bamboo Spark is the perfect gadget companion for you.