Things You Can Do Once You Realize The Camera Is Connected To The Network

from the how-well-does-it-work? dept

The idea of using the camera on your cameraphone as something of a barcode scanner that helps bridge the digital and analog worlds is nothing new. However, alarm:clock points us to a new startup that is trying to turn cameraphones into actual scanners. The idea is that you snap a photo with your cameraphone and send it to them, and the company ships you back a nicely formatted PDF. They describe a variety of ways this might be useful including as a way to easily email a signed document (snap a photo, then send the resulting PDF) or to save the whiteboard notes from a meeting. It sounds like an interesting idea (and we've heard of a few others doing something similar), and the sample images look impressive (especially the whiteboard one), but it raises a few big questions. What's wrong with the original photo? Can't you do the same with the original photo the cameraphone takes? From the examples, it looks like this system is trying to better format the images before creating the PDF, but you would think it would still be limited by the quality of the photo. I just tried to test out the system myself, but it's been 30 minutes and no sign of the corresponding PDFs. I may have done something wrong (quite likely) or maybe the system takes time. Either way, it's good to see companies doing more experiments that recognize that the real value in the cameraphone was never that it was a camera, but that the camera was connected to the network.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 22 Dec 2005 @ 5:25am

    ?

    it would sure be a lot faster to email the photo to yourself, open it and save it as a pdf i think. Why add an extra step to an already simple process?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      nep, 22 Dec 2005 @ 10:37am

      Re: ?

      The "easy" part comes with tying this concept into a client-side app. You can easily create a utility that will detect when a camera is connected, and with one click handle the whole process. At this point you can also tie in distribution, making it about as streamlined a process as you could hope for.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Lucas, 22 Dec 2005 @ 6:18am

    Manual Editing

    I assume someone is actually receiving the email, processing it in an image editing software, exporting to PDF and sending it manually back to you. In essence something you can do yourself with Photoshop or The Gimp at home. And when you do it yourself you won't have anyone peeking at the information you've snapped...

    Not something I'm likely to ever use.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      ZOMG CENSORED, 22 Dec 2005 @ 7:44am

      Re: Manual Editing

      I agree with this... if I want to send snapshots of sensitive material to the CIA, I'm not about to let Joe Blow look at my super-secret black-ops images of Sadaam Hussein snorting lines of cocaine off the back of Margaret Thatcher...

      ...Ah crap, now I have to kill all of you.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Pete, 22 Dec 2005 @ 8:08am

        Re: Manual Editing

        Well, with that image burned into my brain, I no longer have the need to buy lunch today........

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        AC, 22 Dec 2005 @ 8:08am

        Re: Manual Editing

        'Sadaam Hussein snorting lines of cocaine off the back of Margaret Thatcher...'

        Thanks for that completely unnecessary and disturbing mental image….......

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Chris, 22 Dec 2005 @ 6:26am

    It's like a post-mark date

    I think the idea here would be that your company could use the upload/conversion process through a (presumably indpendent) third party to in essence "notarize" that a photo was indeed taken on a certain day and at a certain time.

    If you just need the image, use the image. If you need proof of when (and where?) you took the picture, I could see where this service could be useful.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Denis, 22 Dec 2005 @ 6:47am

    No Subject Given

    The advantage of PDF to image is that I can edit a PDF much easier than I can edit an image.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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