Geekspin Blog

Optimise your paper trail with scanR

Posted on: March 28, 2006

I saw a link to a service called scanR (another case of lost letters) in the geeknewscentral newsletter today.

I decided to give it a bit of a spin and was pretty surprised by what I found.

What it does:
In a nutshell it allows you to send in photos taken of a whiteboard document or fax and will then clean it up for you a little and send back a PDF document pre tagged with words found in the scan for easy searching in tools like Google Desktop.

How do you use it?:
Simple, take a picture with your > 1 megapixel camera phone (or by whatever other means) and bang an email through to the service. The first step for a new user involves a confirmation email and there after its smooth sailing.

What could it be handy for?:
This looks like it could be handy to take a quick snap of a whiteboard after meetings to save the time in writing down, I have done this a couple times and if this will make the resulting snaps easier to use it seems like a bonus. It should also be nice for people on the road to send through digitized copies of documents if they don’t have access to scanners. There may also be nice applications for keeping digital copies of a business paper trail due to the searching element.

Overall I think this is quite a smart idea, I don’t think that this will ever replace proper OCR and archival tools in business but it a nice bootstrapper solution for private individuals and corporates on a tight budget.

I included a before and after sample of a crappy cellphone image test.

Before:

After:

Poor results before, poor results after but you get the drift. As with everything else its a case of garbage in, garbage out and I think this is due to the poor lighting and crappy low resolution image taken by my phone, maybe 1.2MP is still too low?


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2 Responses to "Optimise your paper trail with scanR"

This IS a pretty cool idea. I can’t count the number of times that I’ve wished I could just take a snapshot of the whiteboard after a meeting, rather than having to copy it all down myself on a piece of paper. Having to do that takes you out of the conversation.

I think I’ll give this a whirl too. Great post and link!

Hi, this is Chris from scanR. Thanks for the review.

scanR recommends a minimum of 1.3 megapixels for whiteboard scanning and 2.0 megapixels for document scanning. For your example image, you were also too close. Try it again and capture the full page of paper.

More tips are available on the scanR blog.

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