We are moving into the world of 3D, starting with virtual surround sound to state of the art 3D movies recently, so what about books? Sure, they too have undergone the digital revolution in recent memory, and there is a growing belief among bookworms that preserving one’s printed past is essential. In fact, Dai Nippon Printing has just announced a rather remarkable machine which is capable of scanning books at a speedy rate of 250 pages per minute, and they have laid claim to it as the world’s fastest, thanks to the efforts of Professors Masatoshi Ishikawa and Yoshihiro Watanabe who hail from the University of Tokyo.

This high-speed scanner works differently from the way your multifunction home printer does, where it will use a robotic mechanism that flips through the book, while a pair of powerful cameras above will capture a 3D image of each page. This method is also different from standard issue high-speed scanning devices that require cutting the pages out, which means your tome can be scanned without being mutilated. There is a software within that does all the analzying and correction of each page, resulting in an ultra-crisp 400 pixel per inch (ppi) scan of the page – perfect for conversion into other digital formats like an e-book or PDF. This 3D Book Scanner will most probably hit the markets next year at an undisclosed price.

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