According to The Register, Ion has shown a new book scanner at CES. The unit scans and saves each page of a book onto an SD card. Scanning is done from two cameras, both of which have a flash.

The unit will be available in the March/April timeframe and no price has been set. It will come with character recognition software.


  1. Interesting. It bears a strong resemblance to some of the DIY book-scanning rigs I’ve mentioned here before, such as this $20 one or this $200 commercial model. That one looks like it ought to cost a bit less than $200, though.

    It looks like manufacturers are starting to take notice of some peoples’ desire to scan their e-books. Expect to see much condemnation and Viewing With Alarm by publishers and publisher/author advocacy groups. As I’ve mentioned before, I give it just a few years, ten at most, before home book scanning technology becomes totally ubiquitous and easy-to-use. What will publishers do then?

  2. “I give it just a few years, ten at most, before home book scanning technology becomes totally ubiquitous and easy-to-use.”

    If it’s easy enough to use, individuals might actually make money informally scanning books for others (like the neighborhood dog-walker or lawn-mower). Maybe a nice way to make a few bucks…

    I’m not sure what publishers can do one way or the other… historically, media creators have had no recourse against hardware designed to make copies of their products… only against people found actually reselling copies of their products illegally. But they might find themselves having to concede the backlist market totally, if it becomes too easy to find and digitally reproduce a work at home, or in a small shop for a reasonable handling fee… it won’t be worth their while to digitize most old books against that, they’d only bother with books they would be assured of making a good profit from.

    On the other hand, there’s one more way for used bookstores to keep active: Digitizing books brought to them, or used books in their shop. Due to rights laws, they may have to force the customer to buy the used book in order to make them a digital copy… or the possibility (likelihood) of resale may force the bookstore to charge for the book, make the copy, then trash the printed book! Oy– what a way to make a living!

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