The History of Office Document Scanners
By +Dax Radder
What is an office document scanner?
Where did the office document scanner evolve from?
Although document (or image) scanners have not been on the market for a relatively long time compared to other office devices, document scanners have evolved quite a bit with a broad divergence of functions and designs.
There are other types of image scanners, such as 3D scanners, digital camera scanners, planetary scanners, etc., etc. However, for the purposes of this article, we shall concentrate upon the office document scanner.
The scanners of today are often deemed as precursors to the early telephotography and fax machines which consisted of a spinning drum with a single photo detector. Those devices sent a linear analog AM signal through telephone voice lines to receptors, which were then printed on special paper. The newspaper industry primarily used this system from the 1920′s to the 1990′s.
Interestingly, with that image, Kirsch and his team laid the ground work for CT scans, satellite imagery and virtual reality.
From that point on, office document scanners have evolved into the modern mechanisms that we use today in the office and at home.
Office document scanners, in fact, have different demands upon the scanning equipment as opposed to picture scanners. While documents may be scanned on regular flat-bed scanners, dedicated document scanners are much more efficient, especially in regards to speed and paper handling.
The modern office document scanner have document feeders and scans are made at high speeds, usually 20 or more pages per minute, in gray-scale and most, if not all, of today’s scanners can scan both sides of a document.
The scanner’s software or firmware is an essential element that will clean up the text of the document produced, erase accidental marks and sharpens the type. Resolution of the finished image is normally 150 to 300 dpi which produces good document images to read and for optical character recognition(OCR).
Office document scanners create editable and searchable files using the OCR technology. To handle archiving and retrieval of scanned images, more scanners than not use dedicated device drivers like ISIS or TWAIN to scan documents into a TIFF format so that the scanned pages can be fed into a document management system.
While the office document scanners don’t have the same glamorous image or history as that of the television or the telephone, rest assured that like most electronic devices, the scanner will continue to evolve.
According to Amazon, the most popular office document scanners are:
- Fujitsu ScanSnap S1500 for PC
- Fujitsu ScanSnap S1500M for Macs
- Fujitsu ScanSnap S1300 Mobile
- Canon CanoScan 9000F
- Epson WorkForce Pro GT-S50
- NeatDesk Desktop Scanner
- Epson Perfection V600
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