My 3D Camera Reads Books Faster Than You
The Ishikawa Oku Laboratory from Tokyo University created an eye-blinking-fast "flipping book" scanner able to digest 250 pages per minute without any damage to the book.
A clever mechanism flips through pages at lightning speeds while a stereoscopic camera overhead snap detailed images of each double page at the perfect moment. Special software then flattens out the picture and turns it into a machine readable 400 dpi PDF (or other format) document. The slow motion video here under shows the beast in action.
Market availability expected sometimes in 2013.
Page Flipping Scanner Video
The 250+ pages-per-minute performance is realized by three key points: high-speed fully-automated page flipping, real-time 3D recognition of the flipped pages, and high-accuracy restoration to a flat document image.
The stereoscopic camera system continuously observes the volumetric 3D deformation of the each flipped page 500 times per second and recognizes the best moment for book image acquisition. The definition after "virtual flattening" is enhanced to 400 pixels per inch, enough for efficient OCR character recognition if required.
Source:Ishikawa Oku Laboratory, Department of Information Physics and Computing, Department of Creative Informatics, Graduate School of Information Science and Technology, University of Tokyo