October 23, 2012

Law Practice Magazine

Law Practice Magazine

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 Table of Contents | Features | Frontlines | Technology | Business

January/February 2009 Issue | Volume 35 Number 1 | Page 21


There are a number of different products and services that have caught my attention recently. Technology just keeps marching on in novel and interesting ways. To illustrate the point, for this issue I’ve picked a trio of new products that should appeal to all readers.

There are a number of different products and services that have caught my attention recently. Technology just keeps marching on in novel and interesting ways. To illustrate the point, for this issue I’ve picked a trio of new products that should appeal to all readers.

Bluetooth headset with voice recognition. I wouldn’t quite say they’ve developed the perfect Bluetooth headset yet—but there is a lot to like about the BlueAnt V1 Voice Control Headset from BlueAnt Wireless. First, as Bluetooth headsets go, the V1 is at the smaller end of the spectrum and a bit less intrusive than other models on the market today. In addition, it has a light weight and an adjustable ear hook that works nicely even for those of us with glasses. Using what BlueAnt calls its “revolutionary BlueGenie voice user interface,” users control a number of the headset functions by voice command alone. What’s even more amazing is that the headset talks back to you in confirming your commands and providing other information.

Upon activating the voice control function by pushing the BlueAnt button on the headset, users hear a prompt to “Say a command.” To hear a list of available commands, you simply speak the words “What can I say?” To learn how to use the headset’s various functions, you just speak the words “Teach me” and you hear a tutorial, which is pretty cool. It also has a regular Settings menu, as well as nine speed-dial positions and access to Google’s free 411 service. I found the headset’s noise reduction and echo cancellation capability adequate, and I was happy to find that the voice recognition requires no training. Another pleasant surprise was the inclusion of a car charger, AC power adapter, USB gooseneck cable and USB adapter.

Also, when you receive a phone call the V1 alerts you and reads the incoming number to you. You can then choose whether to answer the call or ignore it until later, using only voice commands. It’s rather amazing technology for less than $120.

Security for flash drives. Stories about the failure to safeguard confidential information continue to make headlines, and clearly lawyers don’t want to see their names in the news because they neglected to safeguard privileged data. But keeping data secure gets a bit trickier with the increasing use of mobile devices such as USB flash drives. These storage devices get smaller and smaller and therefore much easier to lose, steal or misplace. Telecompute Integrated Systems has set out to remedy the problem with its Digital Stick technology. Designed to be deployed on portable storage devices such as USB flash drives, Digital Stick gives users access to a portable, fully functioning database-driven application, which enables a secure independent environment with controlled data access. It encrypts data using 128 bits or higher AES standards (depending on the key provided) and it stores the information in a secure area not accessible by the Windows file system. The application works in conjunction with Telecompute’s Digital Anchor relational database engine and technology, which has the ability to import and export to XML, SQL, CSV and other common formats.

According to the company, the underlying technology is a platform that allows a number of applications relevant to the legal industry to be created or adapted. Telecompute envisions using Digital Stick to assist with the distribution of confidential case files and other information stored in a secure database on portable storage devices, giving legal professionals a way to carry with them confidential information that is searchable while being secure. Firms can develop their own portable applications using the Digital Stick Software Development Kit and Digital Anchor to create a self-contained environment for applications to run and store data while eliminating security concerns, since these applications will be independent of the operating system and not leave a data trail when used. This technology is clearly aimed at those that have the IT capability to create applications or modify existing applications.

Custom fonts generator. Last is a Web servicecalled YourFonts.com, which lets you create your own fonts using your handwriting as the model. It is operated by High-Logic, a Netherlands-based company that provides font editing and font management software.

To create your very own TrueType font, you first print out a PDF template from YourFonts.com and complete it in your handwriting. (If you need to, you can even include accented characters.) You then scan the completed template and upload it to YourFonts.com, at which point you provide a name for your new font, too. Once the template is uploaded, you can preview it on the site and then you get your custom font in a download in less than two minutes. After you install the font, you can use it to create text that mimics your handwriting (although those of us who suffer from poor penmanship would want to use it judiciously). Because these are TrueType fonts, they can be used in most programs on your computer, be they Windows, Macintosh or Linux applications, including word processing, spreadsheet and desktop publishing programs. It’s a fun service—and it’s free.

About the Author

Nerino J. Petro Jr. , is a legal technologist and the Practice Management Advisor for the State Bar of Wisconsin. A former practicing attorney, he blogs on legal technology and practice management issues at www.compujurist.com.