When I was a kid it was always exciting to get mail in the mailbox. Now that I'm an adult, I realize how wasteful most of that snail mail is because I don't read it. It tends to go right the trash and the stuff I do need to keep seems to get lost. On the other hand, an important e-mail that I need to keep I can archive and have pretty much forever right at my fingertips.
Hammacher Schlemmer has long and storied history of offering up the odd, expensive, and awesome for gadget fans to purchase. The latest product that the company has looks like something right out of a James Bond movie. The product is called The Pen Sized Scanner.
Today at ShowStoppers during CES 2013, we've seen a lot of nifty gadgets, but one in particular is really impressive. The HoverCam Mini 5 is a pocketable scanning camera that plugs into your computer's USB port, and it folds out into an overhead scanner. We ended up stopping by the company's booth and getting a hands-on session with the new device.
This year we got wind of a company by the name of Project Paperless, a group of "patent trolls" whose goal it was to target companies who didn't have legal means to defend themselves with patent claims for items such as scanning and emailing PDFs. In short, this means that you, as a business, would receive a legal threat from P.P. demanding $1,000 USD per employee for their actual physical use of a scanner device in your office because they own the patent that describes the device's use. Through the year they've been targeted themselves by some rather angry business owners who decided that, "no, we're not going to freak out and pay you this absurd amount of cash, we're going to see first if you actually have the rights to request such a sum!"
Android 4.2 Jelly Bean features a new security tool that quickly scans downloaded apps for malicious code. It's essentially Google's way of addressing the long-time threat of malware on the company's mobile platform. However, a computer scientist at North Carolina State University found that only about 15% of malicious apps were caught by the built-in scanner.
Canon has announced its new wireless PIXMA printers, the MG6320, MG5460, and iP7220, as well as the CanoScan 9000F Mark II photo scanner. These additions to Canon's rather vast catalog of printers and scanners represent a nice addition for photographers. No word on when they'll be available, but we're guessing it'll be soon.
For those of you waiting for the real-deal collection of Star Trek gadgets and gizmos, you'll find that today is a great day - the tricorder has arrived. The folks at Scanadu have been developing a handheld device that, while not exactly service the same function as the 60's series tech, is certainly Star Trek-worthy in its abilities. This device has been in development for less than a year and will be prototype ready by the end of 2012 - so says the NASA-Ames Research Center-based startup team themselves.
Doxie has announced the worldwide launch of its Doxie One, a portable scanner that doesn't require a computer. The device was first introduced less than a month ago, and comes in a higher-end model that is wireless as well. The unit is available now worldwide for $149, while the wireless model is a bit more expensive at $199.
There seems to be a lot of lessons wrapped up in this story. One, never under estimate the things you can create with a vacuum cleaner. Two, there are benefits to giving employees personal time. And three, a 1,000-page book can be scanned in an hour and a half with the right equipment. Or so we've learned from Google Books engineer Dany Qumsiyeh, who - along with team mates - has created a $1,500 book scanner and made it open source.
There are a lot of mobile professionals in a number of different industries that could benefit from having a mobile document scanner. Genius has announced a new portable wireless scanner specifically made with the on the go professional in mind called the Podpad. The scanner is intended to be used for creating digital copies of time sensitive documents that can be sent instantly over the Internet.