Libraries could become extinct sooner than we all thought, now that those clever Japanese scientists have developed a scanner that can digitise up to 200 pages in just a minute.
Until now only superman could process books by flipping the pages, but the robot developed at the University of Tokyo can detect things too quick for our puny, non super, eyes.
The scanner essentially is a high-speed 500 FPS camera digitising at 1280x1024, which will capture each page as you flip through. However the image is curved and distorted at that point. The scanner then corrects this by scanning the pages again with a laser grid to re-modify the image to create a flat picture.
The scanner is the first device using a "super vision chip", the brainchild of Masatoshi Ishikawa, professor of robotics at the university. Many other projects involving the chip are apparently in the pipline, including smartphone and laptops.
The university team is also working to create microscopes capable of tracking individual bacteria and also a sensor system that could be used in computer game hardware for a extremely detailed full body gaming experience.
However TechEye was not convinced that the Librarian Association, now called the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals, would be too happy about entire libraries potentially digitised in a few hours.
“Without seeing the scanner I would have hesitations about the book spine being damaged,” said Chris Armstrong, a member of the UK Electronic Information Group, s pecial interest group and part of the CILIP.
"There would be the copyright issues, similar to the ones experienced by Google Books, "Armstrong points out. "However some universities, like the University of Pretoria for example, have been digitising books out of copyright and print before they become too fragile to be read. So this can be good for preserving information from fragile books”
See the scanner in action from Spectrum IEEE below.