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Japanese Researchers Develop World's Fastest Book Scanner 138

An anonymous reader writes "IEEE Spectrum reports that Tokyo University researchers have developed a superfast book scanner that uses lasers and a high-speed camera to achieve a capture rate of 200 pages per minute. You just quickly flip the book pages in front of the system and it digitizes the pages, building a 3D model of each and reconstructing it as a normal flat page. The prototype is large and bulky, but if this thing could be made smaller, one day we could scan a book or magazine in seconds using a smartphone." The article mentions Google's similar dewarping system; the difference here is speed.
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Japanese Researchers Develop World's Fastest Book Scanner

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  • by Michael Kristopeit ( 1751814 ) on Wednesday March 17, 2010 @03:52PM (#31514076)
    we just need a few at libraries to digitize everything for everyone... no need to make it any smaller.
  • by LtGordon ( 1421725 ) on Wednesday March 17, 2010 @04:29PM (#31514694)

    Good luck with that one. The copyright owners will be all over that.

    Fixed that for you.

  • by hawguy ( 1600213 ) on Wednesday March 17, 2010 @05:25PM (#31515592)

    Technology like this will cause the publishing industry to go the way of the music and movie industries.

    Right now the publishing industry is where the music industry was 7 years ago. Multiple incompatible book formats, DRM that lets rights holders yank your paid content away from you, DRM/formats that leave you tied to specific vendor readers, etc.

    The barrier of scanning a book has made the publishing industry think that they don't need to provide books in a format that users want and feel that they can keep books locked down by DRM.

    Even if DRM succeeds in keeping e-books from being redistributed, scanning technology keeps moving forward. All it's going to take is some enterprising company to buy one of these scanners and become the "AllofMP3" of the book world -- selling e-books in open, non-DRM formats for $1/each and the publisher's business model will fail miserably and they'll try doing the same catch-up that the music industry is involved in in trying to give users a reasonably priced legal product that can compete with the cheap illegal copies.

    it won't even take new scanning technology for this to happen -- a scanning "peer-to-peer" service can be formed where thousands of subscribers are asked to scan and proofread a single page from new releases, which are them compiled into a central database to form a complete scanned book archive.

    Whether they like it or not, the book industry is going to be forced into open, interoperable standards for books, and lower prices that consumers have come to expect from industries where nearly all of the manufacturing and distribution costs have been eliminated by electronic distribution.

Don't tell me how hard you work. Tell me how much you get done. -- James J. Ling