For years, on-the-go businesspeople have used portable tape recorders to keep track of their ideas. Trouble is, passing those ideas along — in a letter, a memo, or an email — usually means asking someone to transcribe your tapes. The Olympus D1000 Digital Voice Recorder eliminates that hassle. It works with IBM's ViaVoice Gold speech-recognition software. The recorder's 2-MB flash-memory card captures about 15 minutes of speech. You transfer the memory card from the recorder to your PC, activate ViaVoice — and your brain doodles become computer documents. Warning: It takes time for ViaVoice to learn specialized jargon. But the software comes with a built-in vocabulary of 22,000 words, and it learns fast.
The Olympus D1000 costs $299 (ViaVoice included). Additional 2-MB memory cards sell for $49; 4-MB cards cost $99. Contact Olympus America Inc. via telephone (800-622-6372) or the Web (www.olympus.com).
A version of this article appeared in the November 1998 issue of Fast Company magazine.