According to the Agence France-Presse, researchers from Tokyo’s Graduate School of Information Science and Technology have created a prototype system that allows to scan books while flipping pages. In other words, a person who wants to scan an entire book, only has to riffle. Using the developed prototype, a book having 170 pages can be scanned in 60 seconds.
“Book-flipping scanning system” components includes a camera, which is able to take 500 images per second, infrared lasers and computer. Distortions caused by curvature of the pages during the flipping are measured with infrared beams. Subsequently, the parties are “flattened” programmatically by using the three-dimensional model.
Despite the fact that this technology exceeds the potential of the application related only to the scanning of books, “book-flipping scanning” can accelerate the process of digitization of the printed cultural heritage. For example, to scan 110 200 objects (as much as it is for today in the largest Polish digital library – Digital Library of Wielkopolska), assuming that the average time for the “raw” scan for one digital object is 60 seconds, you should spend approximately 77 full days.
Unfortunately this system is suitable mainly for digitizing books in good condition. Copies in poor condition may be destroyed during the paging. Other types of publications, such as postcards or newspapers, cannot be simply riffled.
The team plans to finish work on the final version of the prototype of the “world’s fastest scanning system” in two years. Materials that present technology in action, can be found at http://www.k2.tu-tokyo.ac.jp/vision/BookFlipScan/index-e.html