In a world of smartphone’s and tablets that can take voice to text notes for you, whenever you are ‘on the go’, the thought of an old-school paper notebook seems rather redundant. While tech toys and mobile devices have all but replaced the need for traditional writing, and many businesses have transitioned to paperless environments, why would a company introduce a new style of notebook?
It seems at first look, to be something that few consumers would be interested in, but the notebooks are fun to use and provide both a practical, secure way to discard of notes, in a novel way, while quickly transferring notes from the book to personalized cloud storage, for safe keeping. For writers, designers, business people, or students, it’s a lightweight and invaluable way to increase productivity in a convenient way.
Why a Reusable Notebook? Because Paper Use Is Increasing
Some interesting facts about paper use, particularly in the United States; consumption is increasing, not decreasing in the digital age. In fact, in the last twenty years, production and purchase of paper products in America have increased by 126% from 92 million tons per year, to over 208 million. To feed this demand, the U.S. processes more than 68 million trees annually for the manufacturing of all paper products.
Other interesting facts you didn’t know about America’s paper problem:
- In 1997, global use of paper was 299,044 tons for all countries in the world. In 2015, America consumed 208 million tons alone.
- The average American consumes 700 pounds of paper annually, which is higher than any other per capita paper use in the world. The average American consumes six times as much paper as the combined populations in Asia, and thirty-times more than residents in Africa.
- With less than 5% of the world population living in America, the United States consumes more than 30% of the world’s annual production of paper products.
Recycling paper only diverts a portion of the used material back into consumer products. So, if you enjoy taking notes the old-school way, for work or school, or for creative brainstorming, the idea of a reusable notebook really makes sense. Which is why founders Joe Lemay, and Jake Epstein funded the concept through Indiegogo, showcasing the product on “The Shark Tank” after launch.
Specifications and Functionality
The Rocketbook Wave smart notebook is the world’s first classic pen and paper notebook that can be erased and reused, by microwaving the book to erase data, scribbles, designs and notes. The entire notebook can be filled up and erased five times, and the consumer cost per book is a mere $27.00 for 80 blank pages and the Pilot FriXion pen.
The magic primarily resides in the Pilot FriXion pen. The ink inside the specialty pen turns clear at 140 degrees Fahrenheit (60 degrees Celsius). Each book is constructed to be completely microwave safe (including the coil binding). Some users have commented that if you place your book in a freezer, that some of the previously erased writing may return, which is an issue with the pen that the manufacturer is working to resolve. The ink doesn’t leave the paper, it simply becomes invisible, allowing the owner to write over previous notes on a blank page. The heat sensitive ink is also erasable by friction, and a variety of colors and thicknesses are available for the specialty pen, which retails for approximately $2.00 per unit.
Once you have filled a page or two, you can use the Rocketbook app (android or iOS) to drop it to a cloud storage account of your choosing. Users can upload to Google Doc’s, Dropbox, Evernote, iCloud or personal email, without the wires, the Wi-Fi or digsemi technology usually found in high end mobile technology and tablet products.
To save your information before rending your notes invisible (in the microwave), the mobile app needs to be launched, and access to your mobile phone camera is required. The app also turns on the phone’s flashlight to ensure sufficient lighting for the data capture.
Dots align the page to help you center the information you want; when the camera is successfully centered, a green square appears, and the app scans the content on the page. The app allows you to preview the image to ensure that all the information was captured, and you can delete and rescan, or save, approve and then transfer the data to your chosen cloud storage area.
Microwaving Your Notebook
It is more fun than it sounds; imaging placing your private or business notebook into a microwave in the lunchroom, to the amusement of all your co-workers? In order to clear or delete the writing in the notebook, the instructions require that users:
- Place the notebook face-up, on a microwave with a glass turntable.
- Place a coffee cup that is filled at least half way, with water, placing the cup in the center of the book (or on the blue circle design on the cover).
- Microwave for one minute until the blue rocket logo disappears. Turn and repeat the process on the other side.
The Rocketbook Wave Smart Notebook may be as close to a ‘secret decoder ring’ as any tech toy aficionado may get. One type of customer that values the product includes those employed in the design or creative field. Business professionals or start-up growth hackers, are constantly sketching ideas, flow charts and other schematics to ‘brainstorm’ innovative concepts.
Rather than having a pile of notebooks in your office, or risking the theft of intellectual property, this high-tech notebook makes sense. Professionals can still enjoy the ‘paper and pen’ brainstorm, but quickly and securely transfer the data and information to a cloud server.
There are other more expensive options for digital capture of handwriting or sketches and drawings ‘on-the-go” but most of them start at over $100.00, and while they offer additional editing tools, they are also bulky, and less travel friendly.
From kids to students, creative geniuses to those who just think that microwaving a notebook is fun, the Rocketbook Wave smart notebook is an affordable and innovative product most tech-toy types and tree huggers will love.
Rachel Oliver is a freelancer who has a way with words. She likes to write about anything and everything under the sun, but themes like technology, electronics & gadgets interests her more. You can get in touch with her on Google+, Facebook, and Twitter.