If there was ever a company mired in Microsoftian corporate nonsense, it’s IRIS, the scanning and OCR company. Clunky, ugly and ridiculously overpriced software combined with hideous hardware, and a lame bird-based logo to boot – if IRIS were a human, it would be a taste-free middle-manager from the early 1990s.
The latest example is the IRIScan Book 2, a scanner which you have to drag over each sheet of paper by hand in order to digitize the letters thereon.
The $99 strip features an array of mysterious buttons and LCD readouts, and scans at 300 or 600dpi onto an included SD card, from where you can transfer the scans to the computer of your choice (in the case of the iPad, you can use the camera connection kit). If you can remember those old handheld scanners from the end of the last century – the ones which you rubbed oh-so-slowly over a sheet of paper as the copy was simultaneously spat out onto silver thermal-printer paper – then you’ll know just what you’re getting. It’s the same principal, only now we live in 2012.
To do anything useful with the scan, you need to load up the included (on CD!) software on your Mac or PC to perform the OCR.
You’re ahead of me here. Don’t the iPhone and the iPad 3 have very capable cameras? Isn’t there a slew of well-designed software which will scan and store your documents using those cameras? The answer is of course yes, and that’s probably where you should be looking. It’s faster and easier.
Should you hate yourself, though, then the IRIScan Book 2 is available now, in standard and Executive (Bluetooth, rechargeable battery) models. Don’t try buying this mobile scanner from your mobile device though: the store won’t work on the iPad, and the demo videos are in Flash. 1990s indeed.