Indeed, those caring for antiquated books appreciate this aspect of the technology since it maintains the integrity of the hard copy even as it turns it into digital form, said Heath Rezabek, a self-dubbed futurist and practicing librarian in Austin, Texas. He told us:
In the case of this particular platform, one of the core advantages seems to be the care taken to ensure that items scanned are handled properly, and automatically, by the machinery. Books are a robust technology, and can take a fair bit of use; but if cared for properly, they can last as long as their paper allows. This platform seems well aimed at those concerned with the physical care of the book.
It's likely for the short term, products like the RBS will remain the domain of libraries and archivists that are archiving special-interest or historical material that should remain physically off-limits to people, said Amie Thomas, a master of library science and the public services administrator for Brownsburg Public Library in Indiana. "I can see this being a great resource for academic and special libraries who house collections of rare materials that they want people to be able to access, yet not actually touch," she said.
The technology is currently a bit cost prohibitive outside of that niche market, said Thomas, and copyright concerns to digital media that libraries are facing would also be a barrier to using such a product at the moment. She continued:
Public libraries in general are in a battle of 'wild west' epic proportions right now to access the latest titles in electronic formats and many of the large publishers are placing restrictions on how many times they can go out, whether we get their newest titles, and whether we can even have them. It's a little crazy out there right now.
Of its current customer base, Schramek said 60 percent are large universities and other big archives across the world, while 30 percent are private, specialized digital service providers that also serve market by offering services that leverage Qidenus machines. Ten percent of the company's customers are special industries that want to digitize their own archive of manuals and in-house books, but this is still a nascent market, he said.
By the end of the year, Qidenus will release a scaled down version of the RBS -- which costs customers about 80,000 to 100,000 euros (about $105,000 to $130,000 US) -- at a lower price point to broaden its market and serve this smaller percentage of customers. By 2014, the company will also come out with a consumer book-scanning product through an internal project called ScanGuru, although that product won't have a robotic aspect due to its price point, Schramek said.
Click here to watch a video showing how the technology works.
I love the idea of this technology, especially since it preserves the integrity of the original books. Now imagine having one in your home so you can load up your hard copies on your Kindle or iPad? That technology is not quite ready for prime time and likely will take a bit of licensing of hardware, software and copyrights before it is, but I look forward to it.
Samsung's Galaxy line of smartphones used to fare quite well in the repairability department, but last year's flagship S5 model took a tumble, scoring a meh-inducing 5/10. Will the newly redesigned S6 lead us back into star-studded territory, or will we sink further into the depths of a repairability black hole?
In 2003, the world contained just over 500 million Internet-connected devices. By 2010, this figure had risen to 12.5 billion connected objects, almost six devices per individual with access to the Internet. Now, as we move into 2015, the number of connected 'things' is expected to reach 25 billion, ultimately edging toward 50 billion by the end of the decade.
NASA engineer Brian Trease studied abroad in Japan as a high school student and used to fold fast-food wrappers into cranes using origami techniques he learned in library books. Inspired by this, he began to imagine that origami could be applied to building spacecraft components, particularly solar panels that could one day send solar power from space to be used on earth.
Biomedical engineering is one of the fastest growing engineering fields; from medical devices and pharmaceuticals to more cutting-edge areas like tissue, genetic, and neural engineering, US biomedical engineers (BMEs) boast salaries nearly double the annual mean wage and have faster than average job growth.
Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.