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$150 Book Saver turns a 200 page book into eReader format in 15 minutes

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January 10, 2011

The Book Saver Book Scanner from Ion Audio can scan a 200-page paper book and convert it i...

The Book Saver Book Scanner from Ion Audio can scan a 200-page paper book and convert it into e-Reader format in just 15 minutes

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Ion Audio is probably best known for creating those nifty turntables that help those of us who own vinyl records to conveniently convert them into a digital file format. Now, the company has used its digital conversion know-how to create a device that can scan a 200-page paper book and convert it into e-Reader format in 15 minutes. The Book Saver Book Scanner will allow you to quickly digitize your huge library of printed books or magazines for archiving on computer or to take on the road without weighing down your backpack or suitcase.

Many of my vinyl albums have never even made it to CD release, let alone become available in digital format for download from one of the many online stores. So it was with some relief that technology arrived which allowed me to record high quality digital copies of my treasured rarities and pop them onto my media player. One of those leading the charge was Ion Audio, who released record players with a USB cable that could be connected to a computer for handy digitization.

Now, the company is offering the same conversion convenience to owners of literary tomes. The Book Saver consists of an angled cradle, onto which is placed the printed novel, textbook or periodical requiring digital conversion. An upper frame sporting two cameras – one pointing at each page and each having a built-in flash – is placed on top of the publication in the cradle. A snap of each page is recorded at the press of a button, then the camera frame is lifted, the page turned and the whole process repeated until the last page is reached.

The digital conversion is stored directly onto an SD card, for onward viewing on an e-Reader or archiving to a computer. Whereas other devices that offer similar digitization can take up to seven seconds to scan one page, the Book Saver is said to capture its two-page digital representation in just one second.

As you can see from the following video demonstration, the whole process can be pretty quick if you develop a nice rhythm – even quicker if you have an extra pair of hands to turn the pages for you:

Our team on the ground at CES were suitably impressed by the Book Saver, and are looking forward to its forthcoming release, when it will cost US$149.

About the Author
Paul Ridden While Paul is loath to reveal his age, he will admit to cutting his IT teeth on a TRS-80 (although he won't say which version). An obsessive fascination with computer technology blossomed from hobby into career before the desire for sunnier climes saw him wave a fond farewell to his native Blighty in favor of Bordeaux, France. He's now a dedicated newshound pursuing the latest bleeding edge tech for Gizmag.   All articles by Paul Ridden
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17 Comments

Looks like this doesn't so much as convert the books as simply photograph them. If that's the case, the file sizes will probably be huge compared with actual ebooks. I also question the lighting uniformity of the flash. They're trading off quality for speed. I think I'd rather have the Plustek Book Scanner. Slower, sure, but the image is higher quality and can be run through OCR to create a more compact image and text PDF.

Gadgeteer
10th January, 2011 @ 05:06 pm PST

@Gadgeteer. I'm not sure that that is the case. From the product overview:

CONVERT TO MULTIPLE FILE FORMATS FOR USE ANYWHERE

I've already asked for clarification.

N/

Nigel Allen
10th January, 2011 @ 06:37 pm PST

Wonder if the company producing it saw the "DIY-High-Speed-Book-Scanner-from-Trash-and-Cheap-C" (google it) web page. The product resembles what it describes.

NoResponse
10th January, 2011 @ 08:47 pm PST

Looks interesting, I will have to try one then decide how good it is.....

Richie Suraci
11th January, 2011 @ 04:57 am PST

How does Ion deal with pirated ebooks done using this gadget?

Akemai Olivia
11th January, 2011 @ 05:44 am PST

OCR? For 150 bucks I want it to turn the pages for me too.

Paul Anthony
11th January, 2011 @ 07:47 am PST

This might be an option for family historians and genealogists who would rather not damage an old bible, journal or memoir. It\'s good to know the options.

Carol Yates Wilkerson
11th January, 2011 @ 08:55 am PST

A pirates delight capitalizing on the book publishers determination to preserve an outmoded business model and follow the music industry, lemming-like, off the cliff.

rttedrow
11th January, 2011 @ 11:41 am PST

I wonder when some enlightened regulator steps in and bans it. Guns for shooting senators are saintly in the States and cannot be banned but this is not a gun. Therefore it is likely to be subjected to a ban shortly. I wonder if this product makes it to the market ever, for the same reasons.

nehopsa
12th January, 2011 @ 02:08 pm PST

This device will scare the pants off book publishers!

Just like CD writers upset music publishers.

People will buy these and put copyright books out on to the Net, you mark my words...

quatermass
12th January, 2011 @ 02:14 pm PST

And yes, this is a streamlined industrial version of D-Y-I book scanner. Exactly what you do not want it to be. As long as you toil on your D-Y-I you have your quirks that you can claim are entirely idiosyncratically yours. With this popular version regulation and strong "Right to Read" laws are invited. Then you will be stuck with a pay per view/pay-per-page machine. A top capitalist predator will bleed money out of your pocket. This will become pay-per-view society...starting with tiered Internet and Right to Read laws. This thing provokes its coming.

nehopsa
12th January, 2011 @ 02:17 pm PST

Get it before it's outlawed, with book industry lobbyist support.... or just build your own.

BTW, "Do It Yourself" is DIY, not DYI....

DYI...does that mean "Do Yourself In"? ;)

Matt Rings
12th January, 2011 @ 05:28 pm PST

you know i just started college and was looking at getting some type of text to speech reader to help me keep up with reading as i'm finding i'm bit of slow reader, i'm only able to find half my text books in e format, this device is defiantly on my wishlist, i'm even thinking of suggesting it to the college learning center as investment for them

books i own converted to ebook = 60 less pounds in my backpack, plus having access to read any of my books when i have spare time, plus text-to-speech in android based ebook reader helping with my slow reading speed = WIN!!!

Facebook User
22nd January, 2011 @ 10:32 am PST

America has guns so that government and law enforcement officials are not the only people who have them. Read the US Constitution some time. The right to "bear arms" and create local militias keeps a country from being ruled by dictatorship. When the citizens bear arms, the government has to listen to their complaints and concerns, rather than simply announce new laws, statutes, ordinances, etc., and expect them to be obeyed without question. Of course we don't allow our citizens to storm City Hall with an assault rifle either! I'll leave you with this--When I was a US Navy Hospital Corpsman stationed at Camp Lejeune Marine Corps Base, from time to time I would find one of my Marines in a funk. I say MY Marines, because I was responsible for their health as a 'Doc.' When I would ask what the trouble was, sometimes the answer was terrifying. Sometimes the Marine would answer that he'd just left a testing room where he'd been tasked to answer a questionaire. One of the questions was "Could you open fire on unarmed American citizens?" Trust me on this NEHOPSA, if America loses its guns, we lose our FREEDOM, and the rest of world will follow!

Tom Hedlund
29th January, 2011 @ 09:38 am PST

So much for copyright laws. Books from everywhere and everybody will now be appearing on torrent sites for nothing. Extra emphasis on live performances...

jimbo92107
15th February, 2011 @ 10:25 pm PST

Ho is the manufacturer of this scanner?

Facebook User
8th March, 2011 @ 11:03 am PST

As a writer, from generations of writers, I have long known that even for the best selling of authors, there is little money in the writing and publishing of books. Fiction? Maybe. Non-fiction? Forget it.

I've said for years now that file sharing is only illegal because the laws are always slow to catch up with marketing trends, and the freeing of information. If you are a writer, and expect to get paid for your writing, think again: information is copyable. Ever Since the Gutenberg Bible was published, the duplication of material has been possible. (Really, ever since writing and language was invented, it is, by nature, replicable). The payment in response, copy write laws, and subsequent plagiarism law has come to play to protect it. But, like energy someday will be, information will be free. The internet is the death nell to the over-publication of hard copy books. (That and the limited resource of paper and foresting.)

The result is soft copy publication. Because so many books are still printed and paid for, far outstripping the demand for instant information, books will have to become either free, or only sold online. Hard copy publishing is still considered to be the standard by which credible information is passed. Self-published books and ebooks, cannot stand up to these.

Unfortunately, even the smallest publishers are being sucked up by conglomerates - who have political and personal interest in controlling content and suppressing information. So, the credibility of many books, is only dust cover deep: you are not be told the whole story on such topics as politics, in text books, science (cold fusion and global climate change being glaring examples) art and even fiction...and I dare you to find a major publisher willing to release poetry in any volume, whatsoever.

If you only read authors you can pick up at Amazon, Borders or Barnes and Noble, or even the corner Ma n' Pa bookstore, (soon sadly, RIP), you are missing out on a few truly great, but completely unsung authors.. But online? Yep; you do have to wade through -alot- of manure. But, there are also online review sites to guide you in the right direction.

Ergo, online publishing is the answer. Scanning existent books is the answer. Torrents? Well, if the content is worth it, the author can only benefit from such releases, in an increasing demand for work, speech and information sharing - all of which are marketable in real-time and physical presence. Abbie Hoffman's "Steal This Book", is now a reality, only, its no longer stealing; its free sharing of information.

So, where then, will writers make their living? The answer is in speaking and engaging with an audience; educating, seminars and workshops. Internet 2.0 - soon, due to an increasingly transparent society, 3.0 (Can you spell, "Julian Assange"?) Here is where the writer, particularly non-fiction writers will and should make their bread and butter. Indeed, writing will soon no-longer be considered to be the loneliest art. Downside? There are plagiarists out there, but can be restrained through the use of good and popular internet scanning software. And, yes, we will have to work a lot more hours, and engage with our public more often to make a good living.

Is it worth it? Well, sure! Only, its a lot different than it was in the good ole days. But, these are good new days; if we choose to change with the tide, both writers and readers can benefit from it.

Prosemo
15th March, 2011 @ 10:48 am PDT
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