- Created on 25 April 2010
Scanning could be a thing of the past with the new DocScanner app by Norfello for symbian, android and iphones. DocScanner is a tiny application that utilises you phones camera as a document scanner with some clever software jiggery-pokery in between image acquisition and the final scanned document.
We trialed the Symbian version of DocScanner on a Nokia N97 (5-Megapixel in-built camera). As always installation was easy, and the application is fast to load. The software offers the option to take a picture directly, or a image that has been captured previously can be used for processing. Taking a picture couldn't be simpler, all that is required is that the document to be scanned is in focus and then a tap of the screen (on the Nokia N97) and the document is automatically brought into focused and captured as an image.
Once you have an image, the software tries to automatically find the edges of scanned documents (It also provides a drag and drop box for highlighting the perimeter of your document if the software does a less than perfect job when the background isn't dark enough for edge detection). Then the software automatically process the document to correct the aspect and orientation of the document so that you end up with a very good representation of your original document. After which you have the option to rotate the document by 90 degree increments to bring it into your desired format (landscape or portrait). The software then gives you the option to choose where you would like to save your document.
Once you are happy with the scan, the software allows you to save the image as either a jpg or pdf, or via intergration with your phone'e email package, scanned files can be sent directly from DocScanner by email.
We tried DocScanner with a variety of input images from spreadsheets to documents and DocScanner did very well, (although its automatic edge detection didn't do a brilliant job of detecting the edges of the paper documents we used, the drag and drop interface via a touch screen is so easy it only takes seconds to define the edges of your documents yourself) and all of the documents that were scanned were reproduced well as either pdf or jpg. Documents were easy to read and no real detail had been lost from the documents (although image quality will be dependent on the quality of the smartphone's camera). The only potential niggle was that the documents could appear very slightly squashed after processing when the camera was angled along way away from perpendicular to the document when the intial picture was taken. All in all this is a really great piece of software for any compatible device and would be of great use to any professional or even student who needs access to a scanner on a regular basis. Certainly for £8 it is a bargain, far cheaper than any portable hardware scanner.