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Aug 9, 2009 - Blue Dog    Comments Off

Review of “ScanR” — Scan and fax from my cell phone

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Another company wants to be my New Best Friend (for a fee)

One of my bookseller friends posted a link to ScanR, a for-pay web service that is heavily venture-capitalized. ScanR:

lets you use your camera phone or digital camera to scan, copy, and fax. To turn your paper documents into useful digital information, just take a photo and upload it to scanR. The scanR service produces clean copies of documents, whiteboards, and business cards; extracts text information; and creates a PDF file, electronic contact, or fax.

Ever the Early Adapter, I gave this one a whirl. Theoretically, you take a picture with your cell phone and email or text it to this service which cleans it up and converts it to a PDF, text file or Vcard that can be faxed, texted, emailed or added to your Outlook contacts.

It’s more a “Gee Whiz” toy unless you have to process many many documents a day. I have so many ‘niche’ programs and apps, that I forget which is which, and it’s getting tiresome to keep them straight. I tried it with a business card, which went into my contacts ok, but I could have typed it into Outlook faster.

Thoughts on use: Eh.

The free trial consists of two tries (one of which was wasted getting the options right). $5 a month or $30 a year (although they advertise “As little as $3 a month”.

The picture has to be very large — 1600×1024, which involved fiddling with my camera settings. I usually take phone pics at a thrifty 640×480. Now I have to set them back to that so I don’t accidentally send my friends giant pictures.

It didn’t recognize my Blackberry Storm, which was annoying and a little weird. Is there something wrong with my phone or are the ScanR folks a little behind the times?