November 17, 2014 3 min read

Entering college is an exciting time for many young adults. It actually wasn't too long ago most of our team were pulling all-nighters cramming for midterms and churning out last-minute essays due at midnight. For our readers who may be entering college or know a college student, here's a list of some smart products we wish were available to us when we were still attending our universities. No matter what studies you're concentrating on, we know these products will benefit anybody!

LiveScribe Smartpen 3

Everyone has their own style of taking notes. Some prefer typing lecture notes on their laptops, while others enjoy using pen and paper to jot down class notes. However, Livescribe offer a hybrid solution for students that are undecided between these two options by combining digital technology with manual handwriting – more specifically, Livescribe 3. What is it? Put simply, Livescribe 3 is a smartpen that converts handwritten notes that can be accessed and organized digitally.

Using Livescribe actually requires two devices: the Livescribe 3 smartpen and its special paper. The smartpen itself is designed pretty much like your ballpoint pen, except for the fact that includes an infrared camera, an ARM processor, a Bluetooth Smart chipset, flash memory and a lithium ion battery. Livescribe uses special dot paper to recognize the exact location of where you are writing on a page. Once you download the Livescribe+ app and pair your smartpen to your smartphone or tablet, you’re able to create a digital archive of your handwritten notes in real-time! Livescribe 3 is also capable of recording sound to create pencasts, which syncs your recorded audio with your written notes!

Spark Watch

No matter what courses you’re enrolled in, there will inevitably be one or two – maybe five – classes that will just put you to sleep, and for those small interactive classes, you definitely do want your professor to catch you dozing off. Thankfully, Spark is here to help you out with that.

Starting its crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter, Spark is a wearable watch that not only helps you keep track of time, but also helps keep you awake if it senses that you’re dozing off. No – it doesn’t shock you with electricity to stay awake. Instead, Spark keeps track of your movements while you wear it, calculating your average motion, and once it detects you may have fallen asleep, it will gently vibrate until you begin moving again. And don’t worry – the vibration mechanism only works when you enable Spark mode by pressing a button on the device, and the vibration itself isn’t loud enough for people near you will notice it.

React Sidekick

If you regularly follow our blog this may sound familiar, and that’s because it is since we mentioned it a few posts back, but we just really like the value in safety that the React Sidekick brings. The React Sidekick is a tiny little device featuring only one button. After syncing it with the React Mobile app, pushing down the button on React Sidekick will send your current GPS location via an email or text message to your trusted contacts, and even social media accounts, letting them know you’re in danger or need help.

The creation of the React Sidekick was a consequence of a robbery co-founder Robb Monkman experienced in college. Although we hope you never have run into such an experience, React Sidekick can offer a layer of safety if you ever feel uneasy on your way back to your dorm through an unfamiliar area.

There are a ton more products out there we could have recommended, but we didn't want to stray off and mention some other devices (like a  connected breathalyzer or a drone) that would make you less productive. Did we leave anything out? Let us know what you think in the comments below!


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