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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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  • Copyright (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Logical Zebra ( 1423045 ) on Wednesday March 17, 2010 @03:57PM (#31514150)
    Oh, my, isn't this going to be a huge copyright scandal in a few years? I could walk into Borders, scan a few books onto my iPhone, and walk right out without paying.
  • Rainbows End? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by snikulin ( 889460 ) on Wednesday March 17, 2010 @04:03PM (#31514254)

    Now if they also will learn to shred the books in the process and sell the technology to Google, then I will really respect Vernor Vinge's insight (Rainbows End [wikipedia.org])

  • Re:Faster method (Score:5, Interesting)

    by vlm ( 69642 ) on Wednesday March 17, 2010 @04:34PM (#31514768)

    First, there are guillotine-style shears for cutting bindings off books that do no damage at all to the pages.

    My bandsaw does no damage to the pages either. Clearly you haven't tried this. It worked for me, but I'm a small timer compared to the guys at bitsavers.org. They claim it works on an EXTREMELY large scale. I "saw" an ad for a paper shear (usually used for binding, and sorry for the pun). The shear was about 10 times the cost of my little tabletop bandsaw. If the market has changed and you can now buy a shear for the cost of a good steak dinner, well, I guess I'm out of date then. But even then, I needed a bandsaw for other purposes, and if its dual use, all the better, and I'd not be amused at buying, storing, maintaining, and evnetually disposing of two tools to do a job that one does perfectly well.

    Second, nearly all the high-speed sheet-fed document scanners out there are duplex scanners.

    New, maybe. Not in the olden times aka longer ago than yesterday. Maybe the new ones even duplex properly with paper other than standard 8.5x11 laser paper, and don't just jam on the cut edge. Maybe the new ones don't duplex at a speed about 4 times slower than non-duplex. You're the expert, I'm merely a guy who's actually done it.

    I'm only saying what worked with what I had, and what I know other people have successfully done in the past, I'm not just some dude quoting specs out of a tiger direct catalog with an infinite budget for brand new gadgets.

  • by pclminion ( 145572 ) on Wednesday March 17, 2010 @05:29PM (#31515640)
    Why the fuck are we scanning books? Isn't there, you know, a DIGITAL REPRESENTATION which is used during typesetting? This reminds me of that crazy story of the person who printed out a spreadsheet, scanned it in, printed out the scan, laid it on a wooden table, took a digital picture of it, then uploaded it to his web site (or something like that).
  • by zappepcs ( 820751 ) on Wednesday March 17, 2010 @06:04PM (#31516122) Journal

    When established industries become prey for new technology, why do they resist and ask for protection? This is a fundamental question of society. We protect indigenous peoples. We have copyright and patents. We do much to preserve the old along with the new - backwards compatibility. Why do we not simply tell such industries that it's time to change and support them through the change? Yes, I get the whole free market thing, but rather than fight them to force them to accept change, why don't we offer them ideas and methods to change their business model to match the change in consumer requirements?

    No, I'm not being trollish or suggesting stupidity. Why can't we crowd-source ideas for how these industries can recover from game changing technology? Must we wait for Jobs to tell us?

    It's just a question.

  • Re:Prior Art. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by bughunter ( 10093 ) <bughunter&earthlink,net> on Wednesday March 17, 2010 @07:56PM (#31517254) Journal

    Does no one here read Vernor Vinge?

    (Spoilerish bit follows. Only a spoiler for the worst of purists, but they have been warned.)

    Rainbow's End [teleread.org] has an act where an virtual book cartel deploys a giant vacuum/shredder/optical scanner to the UCSD Geisel Library. It sucks in books a shelf at a time, feeds them thru a wood chipper, and the shreds pass thru a tunnel lined with optical scanners. A photo is taken of each bit, and software reconstructs the books.

    Needless to say, this idea displeases many people, and the climax of the novel takes place as the bibliovorous machine threatens the library.

    (End spoilerish bit.)

    Rainbow's End [wikipedia.org] should be on Slashdot's list of top 10 reads. I'm surprised it hasn't spawned a half dozen cliches here, e.g., belief circles and Scooch-a-mouts.

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