Camera Phone Scanner

[S]oftware, developed by NEC and the Nara Institute of Science and Technology (NAIST) in Japan, goes further than existing cellphone camera technology by allowing entire documents to be scanned simply by sweeping the phone across the page….

Using the new software with a 1-megapixel camera held at least 20centimetres away, an A4 sized page takes about 3 to 5 seconds to scan. This produces between 21 and 35 images which the software merges together to extract the text and record any images….

[T]he concern now is that this technology will catapult the publishing industry into a copyright furore similar to that which has gripped the recording industry in recent years….

NEC and NAIST say they do not plan to commercialise their software for three years.
NewScientist.com [via Boing Boing]

Finally, a good use for cell phones.

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