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Old 01-30-2010, 10:16 PM   #1
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Have you EVER wanted to scan that old book?

I am seriously considering this item. I have some material older than old and this might be what I need.

HoverCam scans your documents from on high
http://dvice.com/archives/2010/01/hovercam-scans.php
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Old 01-30-2010, 10:20 PM   #2
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I am seriously considering this item. I have some material older than old and this might be what I need.

HoverCam scans your documents from on high
http://dvice.com/archives/2010/01/hovercam-scans.php
That's pretty damn cool. And now I know what Eben Moglen was talking about last year in his speech. Everyone will have the power to easily scan a book. Publishing industry, here's your death knell, can you hear it ringing?
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Old 01-30-2010, 10:43 PM   #3
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Publishing industry, here's your death knell, can you hear it ringing?
That make me think of a certain book that I have. Well actualy I have 2 copies (the original book and an updated version) of it, neither are in ebook format.

And with the current publishers lack of foresight, they never will be.

Another reason to get it.
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Old 01-30-2010, 10:52 PM   #4
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1.) Yep, I have lots of older OOP science books that look like they'll never have an ebook (or even another print) version-- I don't want to destroy my copies, so I need something other than a traditional flatbed scanner.

2.) The item you link to looks like a piece of crap. A resolution of 1,600x1.200 is around 1.8 megapixels. And you would still have the problem of distorted text at at the spine area.

Here is what I'm thinking about:

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Old 01-30-2010, 11:59 PM   #5
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I have an opticbook 3600. I like it a lot. However, it does have a problem with books with very narrow gutters. I have been reading about camera based scanners at http://www.diybookscanner.org/forum/, and am planning on building a 2 camera scanner based on some of the ideas there.

I see two issues with the Hovercam. First, it's only 1200x1600 pixels, which, depending on the size of the book, may be on the order of 100 DPI, which is problematic for most OCR programs. 300 DPI or better is preferred. Second, if you're scanning from a book, the flatter the paper, the better. With a scanner like the Opticbook 3600, the book only needs to open to about 90 degrees, so the page can be almost completely flat. If you have to open the book to 180 degrees for the Hovercam, there's going to be a lot of curvature on the page, which makes it harder to OCR, and is not faithful to the original image for an illustration.

Last edited by bgalbrecht; 01-31-2010 at 12:05 AM.
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Old 01-31-2010, 01:10 AM   #6
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HIgh Def

You would be better off with a high definition still camera on a stand.

Many of the point and click cameras can be set to take black and white images that are greyscale.

They also can be teathered to the computer so you can control the camera from the pc, send the image directly to the pc, and even use photoshop to convert the images to bistable B&W images not greyscale. Withe use of a weighted bar to hold the page open you can minimize the curvature error of the image at the binding.

You can set the system up so it is faster than a scanner.

Research the line of Sony, Makita, Ricoh, or any other pocket 4 to 8
megapixel point and shoot cameras. Many can be controlled by the computer and cost less than the unit you are looking at. Any camera store has camera mounts that could be setup on a fourpoint rack system to allow you to set the camera at any angle. You would be looking at 4 to 5 times the resolution of that dedicated scanner. When you are not using it to scan a book you have yourself a nice little camera to use for other things.
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Old 01-31-2010, 04:55 AM   #7
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That's pretty damn cool. And now I know what Eben Moglen was talking about last year in his speech. Everyone will have the power to easily scan a book. Publishing industry, here's your death knell, can you hear it ringing?
The spec says that it's a 2MPixel camera with a resolution of only 150dpi. That's way too low for decent OCR.
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Old 01-31-2010, 05:02 AM   #8
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The spec says that it's a 2MPixel camera with a resolution of only 150dpi. That's way too low for decent OCR.
It's not in the DPI, it's in the function, it's in what this device might enable, it's in what comes next, Harry. And what comes next is both exciting and terrifying for a great many people.
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Old 01-31-2010, 05:06 AM   #9
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I have been reading about camera based scanners at http://www.diybookscanner.org/forum/, and am planning on building a 2 camera scanner based on some of the ideas there.
The setup they talk about at diybookscanner is much better than this device, which seems to be little more than a toy.

Even with high-resolution cameras and sophisticated software, there's plenty of garbage and typos in some GoogleBooks scans. I don't think publishers have anything to worry about.
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Old 01-31-2010, 05:40 AM   #10
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1.)

Here is what I'm thinking about:

Ohh yes, this looks very interesting. I have a couple of books not yet out in ebook format that I wanted to scan. This one looks like it could do the job.
Does anyone know the quality of the OCR software in this one? Just scanning a text sheet to a PDF image is not an option since they tend to get very large. I need it to convert the page to text.
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Old 01-31-2010, 05:44 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by ardeegee View Post
1.) Yep, I have lots of older OOP science books that look like they'll never have an ebook (or even another print) version-- I don't want to destroy my copies, so I need something other than a traditional flatbed scanner.

2.) The item you link to looks like a piece of crap. A resolution of 1,600x1.200 is around 1.8 megapixels. And you would still have the problem of distorted text at at the spine area.

Here is what I'm thinking about:

I'll have to price one of those for my next scanner. Looks great. Thanks for the tip
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Old 01-31-2010, 08:01 AM   #12
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The price isn't too bad. Between $210 - $270.

http://www.google.com/products/catal...wAA#ps-sellers

Yes this a much better deal.

I have had 2 flat bed scanners over the years. I never used them much after I accomplished the initial objectives.

One of the problems I found in scanning pages from books was bleed through from the other side. It messed up the ocr program. That and the reluctance to cut books apart to get a flat page. Has anyone had much success with the bleed through problem?

A "camera" poised above the page could be a solution, but the rigs you can buy are too expensive. The homebuilt ones I've seen on the net would take far more time than I would like to spend. After all, I only have a few books to scan.
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Old 01-31-2010, 08:11 AM   #13
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One of the problems I found in scanning pages from books was bleed through from the other side. It messed up the ocr program.
Look at the youtube video, there they present a solution for bleed through with books having thin paper.
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Old 01-31-2010, 09:32 AM   #14
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Good enough.

I have 3 books that I would really like to scan. A few more that I would like to re-read on my PRS-600, but aren't available in ebook format (and never will be).

Ignoring the time element, I would spend about $250 (with shipping and handleing) for, at most, 10-11 books.

The OpticBook 3600 looks very good but does anyone have other (cheaper) solutions?
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Old 01-31-2010, 10:06 AM   #15
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The price isn't too bad. Between $210 - $270.

http://www.google.com/products/catal...wAA#ps-sellers
One of the problems I found in scanning pages from books was bleed through from the other side. It messed up the ocr program. That and the reluctance to cut books apart to get a flat page. Has anyone had much success with the bleed through problem?
With the Opticbook 3600, I've only had problems with bleed through on a few books, and the one with the worst bleed through was something printed in 1850, very small type and very black ink. With the Opticbook's scanner utility, you can adjust the brightness, contrast and image gamma so that the bleed through is minimal.

When I bought it a few years ago, it came with the ABBYY FineReader 6 Sprint edition, but I'd guess that a new one would probably be FineReader 8 or 9. I upgraded to the full version, I'm not sure what the difference between Sprint and full editions are.
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