Blind World Magazine

Revolutionary book scanners.

December 08, 2005.
India Infoline News.

Plustek Inc., one of the leading scanner brands worldwide on Wednesday announced the availability of its OpticBook 3600 and OpticBook 3600 Plus scanners specially manufactured for effective book page scanning in India.

These scanners offer all the high-end features available in expensive large overhead professional grade book scanners and the complicated editing software at a very affordable cost. Therefore, book scanners which were hitherto a domain of only large libraries, archive museums and corporations with big budgets can now be availed by all libraries big or small, copy rooms, law offices, publicists, universities, SOHO, small work groups, families and even by students and teachers.

OpticBook 3600 and OpticBook 3600 Plus come with Plustek's patent pending revolutionary SEETM (Shadow Elimination Element) technology eliminates the book spine shadow and text distortion associated with traditional flatbed book scanning and copying. The special curved lamp with a unique edge design allow for half of the book to lie completely flat on the glass with binding against the corner edge.

The curved lamp provides correct amount of light for a good scanned image at both ends of scanning module. This results in zero-edge scanning wherein the scanning module can scan or copy text right up to the edge of the scanner (as close as 6 mm) where the book spine is placed. The users do not have to cut or tear the books, damage the binding or press hard against the scanning surface which keeps the books in original state.

According to Karen Ku, Vice President, Plustek Inc., "Besides the no-spine shadow or no-text-distortion feature which is the mainstay of OpticBook 3600 and OpticBook 3600 Plus, these scanners compare well against the professional book scanners which come in price range as high as US$ 5000 to US$150,000 as they are compact with small form factor, and do not require any set-up time, calibration, training, maintenance etc. Unlike professional grade scanners they do not have complicated operations and are easy-to-use."

There is colour CCD image sensor in these scanners and interpolated resolution as high as 24,000 dpi can be achieved. There are 7 one-touch button functions that make scanning easy and efficient. The Reversible reflective Document Mat is built into the lid which ensures white backing for normal scanning and black backing for auto cropping. The Black image Enhancement Backing is available for insertion between the book pages for clearer scan of thin pages. The 'Intellilock' lock/unlock mechanism protects the valuable optical system of the scanner.

About 250 book pages can be scanned in an hour. OpticBook 3600 and OpticBook 3600 Plus are ideal for creating e-Books and aid in distribution of study material for academics. The scanned books can be mobilized to be read from notebook PC or PDAs or for that matter can be listened to on a CD, tape or MP3 using TTS (text-to-speech) software.

At the touch of a button the scanned images can be saved or converted into PDF or editable text documents in a fast and simple manner. These can then be sent to another application for further editing, to a printer, as an attachment in an email, or can be published as a CD or VCD. Multiple images can be combined into one file at user's discretion just like one chapter consisting of several pages.

The user-friendly Book Pilot Software bundled with these scanners automatically rotates and saves page images in correct order to maintain book layout and sequence. Categorization of scanned images is also achieved through change of file path and image names (e.g. as per the chapters of the book) for easy data retrieval and management. Job file creation can be done to save all images and settings of a particular job such that the user can reference and work on the job later at anytime. Image adjustments after preview are also possible in order to have desired quality in terms of brightness, contrast, image gamma etc.

The other bundled software available with OpticBook 3600 and OpticBook 3600 Plus are NewSoft Presto! Page Manager, powerful document management software for OCR, PDF creation or format conversion to MS Word or Excel; Ulead Photo Impact XL SE, powerful image editing software featuring extensive editing tools for working with digital photos, creative graphic design and easy web page creation; Ulead Photo Explorer 8.0 SE, image management software to quickly browse, organize or exchange images, create slide shows, publish to the web or a CD; and ABBYY FineReader 5.0 Sprint, high accuracy OCR software featuring 14 language user interface and 176 language recognition.

OpticBook 3600 Book and OpticBook 3600 Plus scanners are available in India at a price range of Rs13,650+ tax and Rs14,650 + tax. through their national distributor TelExcell Information Systems Private Limited.

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