Cutting-Edge Tech Products Enhance Productivity for Agents and Insurers
By Ara C. Trembly
In the age of the Information Highway, it seems we cant open a magazine, turn on the television, or even switch on the radio without some company telling us about some new high-tech gizmo that can make our lives better and help us do business more efficiently.
In an effort to cut through the clutter, weve selected several of these gadgets to highlight here. We chose these particular gadgets for a variety of reasons: because theyre on the technological cutting edge, or because theyre unusual, or because they could help your business processes–or because we just thought they were cool.
With that disclaimer, here are some interesting gizmos:
InkLink Digital Writing Tool. Scratch paper, stray envelopes, the backs of business cards, cocktail napkins–seems we have a hundred different places to scribble quick notes, but when it comes to finding that information again, its like looking for a needle in a haystack.
Seiko Instruments USA Inc. of Torrance, Calif., has come up with a solution to that problem that lets you scribble notes on almost any kind of paper and electronically store the information for later retrieval.
The product, which supports Palm, Pocket PC and Windows operating systems, transforms handwritten notes and drawings into an electronic format, says Seiko.
“InkLink is a pocket-sized digital device that allows users to go with their natural instinct to hand-write notes, then convert these notes into a digital format that is stored on the users computer or PDA,” the company explains. With dimensions of 7.6-in. x 2.9-in. x 14-in. and a weight of just 4.75 ounces, the device is highly portable.
According to Seiko, as users write with the InkLink pen, handwritten notes and drawings are transferred to a personal digital assistant (PDA) via the IrDA Transceiver (included), or onto a laptop or PC via a USB (universal serial bus) port.
“InkLinks proprietary software, InkNote Manager, gives users the freedom to cut, copy, paste, e-mail and store handwritten notes in digital form,” the company notes. The device can be used with any size paper up to legal size (8.5-in. x 14-in.).
InkLink is powered by three standard 1.5-volt button batteries (included) and one AAA battery (included), says Seiko. It is compatible with computers running Microsoft Windows 95, 98, Me, NT4.0 or XP, and requires a CD-ROM drive and a minimum of 32MB RAM. Requirements for handheld users are CE 3.0 (Pocket PC 2000) or Palm OS version 3.1 or higher, and 1MB available memory.
Suggested retail price is $99.95. Information is available at www.seikosmart.com.
CD Media Eraser. Insurance is a business that thrives on data, but keeping that data confidential can be a challenge. Its not unheard of for corporate spies and thieves to comb a companys garbage for potentially useful–and often sensitive–information. Or, someone could simply walk out of the building with such information on a disc. Thats an exposure that risk-averse insurance companies and agents cant afford to take lightly.
When it comes to getting rid of sensitive information on CDs, Westboro, Mass.-based Security Engineered Machinery offers a solution with its Model 1200 CD Media Eraser and Declassification System. The company says the system “offers quick, efficient removal of all data from commercially produced CD-ROMs and writeable/re-writeable CD-R, CD-RW, WORM CDs and DVDs.”
The Model 1200 utilizes a micro-machining technique that completely removes data-bearing surfaces in 20 seconds, “with the safest possible method of optical media destruction,” the company states. The device employs an automatic declassification cycle once a disc has been inserted, with the option of residual dust collection via a passive drawer or a vacuum attachment.
“Because the micro-machining process leaves inner disk hubs intact, the remaining disc can be identified as absolute proof of destruction, eliminating the need for detailed logs and witnesses in applications where certification of destruction is required,” the company notes.