CNet has a report on a new book scanner (Japanese) from Dai Nippon Printing that takes and corrects three-dimensional images of book pages, allowing for them to be scanned at the amazing rate of 250 pages a minute, meaning that the average book could be captured in little more than two to three minutes tops.
This is the result of the scanning development technology we covered in March of last year, created by University of Tokyo professors in the hope that it could be used for easy scanning and sharing of manga titles. (The manga studios were not amused.) There’s no mention of this in the current CNet article, but the professors hoped that the system could one day be miniaturized enough to put into a smartphone or other pocket device. But I expect that’s probably a long ways off.
There’s no word yet on pricing, but the scanner is expected to hit the market in 2013. It probably won’t be cheap, at least at first. But eventually it will be everywhere. The implications could be startling. If you were to pair one of these with an Espresso Book Machine, you could essentially duplicate an entire book at once in minutes from a standing start. Wouldn’t the medieval monks be jealous?