$15 Scanbox + Smartphone = Instant Scanner

scanbox[1]Three developers have come up with a unique new product, Scanbox, that used with a smartphone’s camera, enables you to take high-quality scans. Scanbox, which is made of durable laminated card stock, is designed to optimize nearly all lighting conditions for best-quality scans. Unlike an electronic scanner, it doesn’t require a power source, software or connection to a PC, and it can be folded down flat to slip easily into a bag or briefcase – dimensions when folded up are just 0.19″ (5 mm) high x 12.2″ (310 mm) wide x 9.05″ deep (230 deep). When set up, it measures just about a foot high (12.2″ or 310 mm) x 12.2″ (310 mm) wide x 9.05″ (230 mm).

Using Scanbox is easy – as shown above with an iPhone, just place the document, photo or 3D object inside Scanbox, place your smartphone over a cutout, with the smartphone’s lens down, and then just take a picture with your smartphone’s camera. There are numerous scanning apps that then enable you to convert or edit the scan. Scanbox’s developers recommend CamScanner+, which enables you to process text documents with OCR software into text-editable electronic files, scan directly into PDF format, create multi-pages documents, and upload scanned documents to Google Docs.

The Scanbox+ features an enclosed back and LED lights (requiring a 9V battery) for higher-quality scanning and evening out-of shadows.

Scanbox was developed by three Australians, Phil Bosua, Ben Hillier and Luke Allen, who are using Kickstarter to raise funds for full production. Kickstarter is a unique crowd-funding platform for creative projects. Developers describe their project or product on their Web page, and those interested fund them, usually with small contributions, in exchange for various rewards. With Scanbox, for a $15.00 contribution, you get Scanbox. With bigger contributions, you get more Scanbox units (the Scanbox+ with LED lights is $25). Scanbox’s developers initially sought $12,500 in funding to go into full production; currently they have some $67,00 and over 2,000 backers, so Scanbox will begin full production in July.

Scanbox is without a doubt an innovative product. Of course, with Scanbox, the user is the automatic document feeder, so scanning multi-page documents would be time-consuming. Because all you need is a smartphone and because Scanbox can be folded up and is very lightweight, the combination makes for an easy-to-take-on-the-road scanning solution – so that portability and price (just $15) are its biggest advantages.

For more on Scanbox, visit the product’s Kickstarter page here.

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