Thursday, August 31

My phone is not my music device, but it is now definitely my scanner!

One very cool feature of my new Sony Ericsson's K800i's 3 megapixel camera is the 'document' setting, which optimises the focus, flash and exposure to allow you to use the phone as a quick and cheap scanner.

Here's an unretouched shot of a story from a newspaper. The original document is about 250mm x 300mm. It's more than clear enough to read the body type and could easily be fed into your OCR software.

Next time my HP multifunction printer/scanner thingy goes bing I'm going to recycle it, buy a cheap laserprinter, and just use the camera as my scanner - it rocks.

A phone as a scanner has a number of advantages. You don't need to have a flat document when you scan, you can use the viewfinder to position the image for scanning, you can stealthily snap all kinds of documents (e.g. recipes right out of magazines) that you don't own and don't want to buy (copyright law not withstanding), and you can shoot things like fine print on public signs that you can't just dismantle and drag home.

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