This voice recorder looks like a cassette tape and uses AI to transcribe 10 languages
The iFlytek Smart Recording Pen A1 can turn an hour’s worth of recordings into text within five minutes
If you’re starting to zone out after too many Zoom meetings, you might want to pay attention to the latest gadget from iFlytek.
The 399 yuan (US$56) gadget needs five minutes to transcribe each hour of content. It uses Bluetooth to connect to a smartphone app, which you can open to read the transcript. And don’t worry about your bilingual recordings: iFlytek says the Recording Pen can transcribe a person switching between Chinese and English words.
If you’re wondering why you can’t just use your phone to record and then pay to use iFlytek’s online transcription service… well, actually, you can. But iFlytek says its gadget has enough battery power to record 20 hours of uninterrupted speech and can store 32GB of recordings. That could be useful if you’re a secretary constantly going to corporate meetings or a student who wants a record of every lecture in a semester. Or a reporter with more than few interviews to transcribe.
More than any high-tech features, though, it was the cassette-tape look that brought back memories for nostalgic users old enough to remember a time before smartphones and AI.
“After graduation I went to Hunan and bought a Sony Walkman,” another wrote. “I spent a crazy amount of time listening to songs, spending most of my salary on tapes. I took great care of even the printed lyrics sheet inside the box. Whenever the tape was stuck, I would stick a pencil through the reel to unwind it.”