Friday, March 9, 2007

Book Scanning (discussed 2007-03-06)

Wasn't last Tuesday's Tea great? You bet it was.

Remember when we were discussing automatic book scanners, and Google Books? You bet you do.

I did a little research (starting 3 minutes ago, and continuing until 1 minute ago). According to USA Today,

Digitizing a book can be almost as tough as writing one. Here's how it's done:

1: Convert each page into a digital image by scanning or photographing it.

This process is often done by hand, usually by low-wage workers in India and China. These workers place pages onto an ordinary computer scanner, one page at a time. At top speed, they can scan about 100 pages an hour.

Automated scanning machines, much like copy machines, do exist. But most require the pages to be cut out, a poor choice for rare books. Recently, start-ups such as Kirtas Technologies of Victor, N.Y., have introduced automated book-scanning machines that can turn pages. Kirtas' book scanner uses a robotic arm to flip pages past a 16-megapixel Canon digital camera.


Robots! Look, here it is, BookScan:

Here is another one, called BookDrive:

I worry that the robots are reading and learning while they are scanning. True, these robots do not have legs. But they may be talking to other robots that do. And who is to say what features will be added to the next version? "Now, scans 7200 pages per hour! Also, it has legs."

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