High-Tech Handheld Scanner
January 13, 2013 7:00 PM   Subscribe

I'm trying to find something I think I saw on TV: a handheld document scanner which requires no contact?

I'm 100% it was a documentary-style TV show and not scifi, and I'm 80% it was a History Detectives episode. What I remember is the person held the scanner, a small self-contained device about 2" x 1" x 10", an inch or two away from what they wanted to scan. There was a small display on the top of the scanner which showed what they actually were scanning as they sweeped the scanner over the thing to be scanned, still not touching the object. Everything I can find for sale is the standard rollers-on-the-bottom scanner that needs to touch the object it's scanning. Am I recalling things incorrectly, or does the device I remember exist somewhere?
posted by AzraelBrown to Technology (5 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
About 5 years ago, I was aware of some emerging research that would take video "scanning" a document/scene and stitch the frames together to create one very large image.

Presumably, a lot of that research went into the "automatic panorama" function in new cameras/phones.
posted by porpoise at 8:09 PM on January 13, 2013

If you have and ipad or iPhone, DocScan will do exactly that. You take a picture, it will correct the perspective, and convert it to PDF.
posted by blue_beetle at 9:16 PM on January 13, 2013 [1 favorite]

Something like this
posted by jannw at 4:24 AM on January 14, 2013

I really like Turboscan for iPhone.

It has a mode where it will snap three pictures of a document and merge them together for extra clarity and its really surprisingly good.
posted by cacofonie at 11:18 AM on January 14, 2013

Response by poster: Thanks, all -- I must be combining two different things that I had seen. I know the one I describe from TV looks like the regular handheld scanner, but I must be remembering the contactless aspect of phone digitization. Thanks much!
posted by AzraelBrown at 12:40 PM on January 14, 2013

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