Standalone scanners have slowly become outdated over the years. Most people who scan images either have a scanner integrated into a printer or just snap a picture from a smartphone. Easy-to-assemble cardboard structures have been made for use with phones. The cleverly built Scanbox uses neodymium magnets to hold itself together. A smartphone rests at the perfect location for snapping photos of documents, and the box folds back up when you're done.
You might think nothing else can be done to offer a better scanning product, except to increase resolution. This is where BlinkScan comes in. It doesn't look like anything extraordinary, but its software makes it stand out. Unlike other scanners, the BlinkScan can crop and straighten images of documents. Place a driver's license in the scanning area, and the BlinkScan can scan, crop, straighten, and save a digital copy of the license within moments.
The BlinkScan can scan multiple images at once. It will automatically format each picture nicely and create separate image files for each one. In the YouTube video below, the BlinkScan team demonstrates this ability with 47 coins. Proprietary technology allows the scanner to capture pictures with a higher color resolution than other scanners would allow. Using a high-intensity RGB illumination, along with a monochrome sensor, each pixel will capture more precise color.
This is a great device for people who scan items often. It will not consume that much desk space, making it ideal for offices and desktops. There is no word yet on the price or when it will be available, but I can see it being a big hit among office workers.
Scanners to me are kind of like fax machines--in a way, they're almost a forgotten technology and haven't advanced all so much as other technologies have emerged to replace them. This shows that there is still a lot of innovaiton in this space. It's quite cool what this product can do, but in a nod to Rob's comment, what's the target application or customer?
Rob, this could be used in packaging to detect product defects. Currently, products go single file past a high speed camera. The act of getting products single-file means more contact with the product, takes space, takes time, can cause jams. If it can be done while products are still on a wide conveyor belt, at slower speed, so much the better.
There will be many applications for this in industry. Maybe not so much in personal use, but definitely in industrial use.
For industrial control applications, or even a simple assembly line, that machine can go almost 24/7 without a break. But what happens when the task is a little more complex? That’s where the “smart” machine would come in. The smart machine is one that has some simple (or complex in some cases) processing capability to be able to adapt to changing conditions. Such machines are suited for a host of applications, including automotive, aerospace, defense, medical, computers and electronics, telecommunications, consumer goods, and so on. This discussion will examine what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.