[CES 2013] although the idea of scanning all your paper documents is really enticing, but the actual implementation is often more difficult than expected. I have personally tried a number of solutions, and in the end, I fell back on taking photos with a camera or a smartphone. That may not work for official documents that can be re-printed, but for receipts and business cards, it’s pretty awesome.The main problem with “scanning” documents is the amount of physical manipulation that is required in order to turn paper information into digital information. Flatbed scanners are great for creating re-printable, but are an utter waste of time for receipts as you need to move them around, make sure they’re flat etc…. Multi-documents feeder are great for clean stacks of paper, and possibly business cards, but are typically ill-suited for receipts and other documents that may not be so flat anymore after living in my vest pockets for a few days.
HoverCam is a webcam that is help up in the air by a 90-degree stand (we’ve reported on the older model before). As such, it is the closest setup to using a digital camera to capture photos of documents. It has a number of advantages: For one, there is an LED light which ensures that the document is properly lit. Secondly, it is at a steady position, so you can lock the focus to save extra milliseconds or seconds. Finally, it is faster than every single scanner I ever owned because it simply take a picture instead of “scanning” the document from top to bottom.
The HoverCam is a regular PC webcam and does not need any driver installation. You can actually use it as a webcam if you want. I haven’t tested it, and you’re watching the same pitch I got from the founder of the company at SHOWSTOPPER during CES. My message to the company is that their pricing ($299) is probably too steep. Somehow, I don’t like the idea of paying that much “just” to scan receipts etc… right now, I’m tempted to build a rig with a regular webcam…
However, the theory and workflow seems sound, and that’s a system that I would consider using in my quest of office efficiency. If there’s a demand for it, I may write a complete review. Just drop a comment to tell me if you’re interested.