Fold-out document scanner heralds portable-scanning future

o-kingDead-tree scanning just got significantly smaller. Gadget Lab and eBookNewser, among others, are carrying reports on the O-King, a new pocket-portable scanning device. It’s only 1.6 megapixels and has to have a USB power source to work, but its small size and $120 price tag might make it a great companion to a laptop for those with a frequent need to scan documents on the road.

Nate Hoffelder at eBookNewser points out:

Do you know what it would be good for? It’s small enough when collapsed that you can carry it in your luggage without serious penalty. You could bring this to trade shows and use it to scan all the handouts you get. On the other hand, who has the time?

Of course, modern smartphones can easily beat that camera’s resolution. The new iPhone with its 5 MP camera and self-contained nature is still a better solution for one-or-two-off page snaps, though not necessarily entire books. But this is just the first iteration of the tech. Undoubtedly given a few years there will be a lot better tools for traditional print publishers to worry about.

1 Comment on Fold-out document scanner heralds portable-scanning future

  1. The mechanical part is a fold-up copystand.

    If you look at their website you can see the curved magazine page they’re photographing with no attempt to keep it flat; trying to do this with a page in the middle of the magazine will be much more difficult. They could investigate adding a sheet of low-reflectance glass, or at least some stretching clips to minimize curvature distortion.

    The interesting part will be to see how their software works. If they made a slightly different version that allowed you to use a real compact camera (which you are already carrying, anyway, cellphone or Nikon) and could compensate for distortion, then they will have something very interesting.

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