Thursday, November 1, 2007

Scan it or Quipit?

You know the scene in the spy movie. The hero finally gets into the room and opens the safe with the documents, whether the plans for the new weapon or the proof of the villain’s crimes. So he (or she) takes out his concealed mini-camera and snaps the photos while the villain’s henchmen are about to burst into the room. The critical thing is to get the film to the authorities (usually accomplished after a long martial arts scene and desperate chase through the night.)

Well, now that spy can use Quipit. This product from an Austrian company turns your cell phone camera into a document scanner. The scans are transmitted to the company’s servers, where they are cleaned up, translated using OCR software, and tagged, ready for reading.

It’s an interesting twist on digital document scanning, and, aside from the spy uses, may be just what’s needed for someone on the road or in an archive where you can’t remove the material. It could also be used to confirm a contract on the spot, save a whiteboard, save handwritten notes, or to quickly backup information passing over your desk. This is a great supplement to standard desk-bound document scanning.

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