Posts Tagged scan
The NeatConnect is a huge evolutionary jump for Neat. It adds many awesome features and scanning options to their current scanner line and even cuts the cords. Perfect for iPad and iPhone use as it doesn’t require the use of any desktop software. The NeatConnect can send documents directly to cloud services which can then be used from iOS apps. It’s quick, easy to use, and honestly pretty cool.
The NeatConnect can be set up from the iPhone shaped screen on the front of the device. User credentials can be input directly into the device for the services used. In addition, document can be scanned and immediately emailed from the device by putting in a email address as the destination.
I’m really impressed with the NeatConnect, even at it’s $499 price. Neat has done a great job of delivering the options people want (and need) these days. The cloud options cover just about everything anyone could want. And no subscription fees make this a truly honest product. A great buy and will be available this October.
Take a look at the overview video below for a great intro to the NeatConnect scanner.
Back in January at Macworld Expo we saw the first demo of Neat Cloud and Neat Mobile. Neat have been around for years providing hardware and software that allows archiving and then searching of scanned documents of various kinds. They produce two different scanners and desktop software to help you get documents into your database. The Neat Cloud update brings that database into the cloud and allows scanning and searching from the iPhone and iPad.
Not only can you use your iPhone and iPad to search your Neat data in the cloud while on the go, you can also use these devices to get items into the system. Utilizing the camera on the iPhone is a great way to get business cards, receipts, and other items onto your Neat Cloud while away from home. Take a look at the video from Neat below for more on the Neat system.
We got a few days to try out Neat Cloud, Neat Mobile, and one of the Neat Desk scanners. Here are some initial thoughts.
The Neat scanner is easy to set up. Just install the software and then plug in the power and the USB cable. Throw in a bunch go papers into one of the three custom guides in the scanner — one for documents, one for receipts, and one for business cards — and away you go. The scanning happens just about as fast as you can throw documents at it. Once documents are in they will be recognized and OCR’ed to get the data from them. From there they reside in your inbox in Neat for you to give them a check and file them in a folder that works for you.
You can also use the Neat mobile app to scan documents into your Neat database. In that case the document is sent to the cloud to be recognized and OCR applied. It is then send back down to your mobile device and to your Neat desktop inbox for sorting.
While the Neat Scanner works well if you have stacks of documents to scan in, in quick testing we found the iPhone camera to be produce quicker and higher resolution scans of most one and two page items. Both seem to have their place — the scanner for stacks of documents and the camera for single items and when you are on the go.
Both the scanner and your iPhone captures will not only keep the original images of your document, business cards, receipts, etc., the system will also apply Optical Character Recognition (OCR) on them. The OCR will, if the document type is set right, also grab relevent data from your scans. For example the purchase total and credit card used for a receipt or contact details from a business card. You can then use that data to updated your contacts or use the receipt data at tax time.
All visible text in the document is converted to text for the database too. Because of this you will also be able to search not only metadata about the documents scanned, but also the full content as well. Great for instances where you are looking for documents about a particular subject, but can’t remember more.
In quick testing of the OCR capabilities, everything seemed to work well with just a few recognition mistakes. In most cases the mistake was minor — but some of the more difficult business cards I threw at it did cause it to return oddly converted text. Unfortunately no OCR system is complete scan and forget, they all need to be fine tuned.
Neat Cloud comes at an additional cost over the Neat scanner and software. A personal account costs $5.99/month but you’ll need the Home & Office account at $14.99/month to use the mobile app. The Home & Office account does have the additional bonus of supporting two users, great for a household. In addition there is a higher level, the Business account that allows access by up to 5 users for $24.99/month.
Neat Mobile and Neat Cloud are available immediately. The link to the mobile app is below. To sign up for a Neat Cloud account, head to the Neat Cloud site.
Creaceed, since its release of Prizmo for the Mac, has been apparently inundated with requests for an iPhone version. Well now the requests have been granted, and the iPhone version of Prizmo is almost ready.
Prizmo, for those who have never heard of it, is an OCR solution previously relegated to only the Mac. It basically can take any picture and find the text in it, and then make it fully searchable on the computer. The functionality doesn’t end with document “scanning”, it also can correct lens distortion, perspective on any old picture, and even page curl.
The iPhone version of Prizmo will be looking to do many of the same things, with some of the key features being: picture straightening, white picker, crop and rotation, state-of-the-art OCR in several languages, and some unidentified “unique features”.
There’s no word on the exact Prismo launch date, but I’d be looking for it in the App Store shortly.
Not your typical scanning app, Smart Scanner allows users to scan printed information, such as magazine articles, emails, book pages, etc. in real time and use its OCR features to send scanned information via email, store it within the app for future reference, make a phone call or open a URL, by simply touching the appropriate link on the resulting scan's screen. While the app is not perfect, it's as close as you can get.
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WorldCard Mobile is a barebones business card reader who’s data recognition capabilities left me disappointed and frustrated. Scan results were inconsistent and the application’s refusal to bring me back to the main screen reveal much work needs to be done before WorlCard Mobile is worth its asking price.
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ScanBizCards is rich in features and, while it's data recognition is inconsistent, its impressive array of features/options offers solace to users who don’t mind encountering “hiccups” in what should be an autonomous process.
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Business Card Reader is a solid, reliable, visually aesthetic business card reader that performs as advertised, with minimal effort on the user’s part. Of the business card readers I've tested thus far, Business Card Reader performed the best.
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I can remember when I was handed my first business card. I always thought they were used as a means of saying: “Hey, look at me! I’m sooooo important, I have a special card to handout to people, showing how important I am!”
Yesterday As I grew up and entered the professional world, I realized that these cards were actually useful, but were a total pain in the expletive. Currently, my organizer has a section devoted to storing/displaying business cards and I’ve amassed quite a few, but I don’t know who’s where, offering what at whatever phone number/email address. I might as well just use them for kindle; at least I would know where they’re not.
Furthermore, I don’t carry my organizer with me everywhere I go:
Not Me: “Hey Jason, let’s go play a pick-up game of two-on-two!”
Me: “Okay, let me just grab my organizer in case anyone we play has a business card they want to show off/give me,”
Not Me: “Hey Jason, let’s go graffiti the side of the tattoo shop!”
Me: “Okay, let me just grab my organizer, in case one of the cops wants to network with me.”
When I acquired my iPhone, however, all that changed. It replaced my organizer and is always with me. And if someone wants to give me a business card, regardless of the time, location, cell block, etc., there is now “an app for that.” Actually, there are several apps, but I’ll focus this review comparison on three:
|ScanBizCards [App Store]||2.60||$5.99|
|Business Card Reader [App Store]||1.2.1||$5.99|
|WorldCard Mobile [App Store]||1.2.4||$5.99|
In reviewing these apps, I’m specifically looking for (in no particular order):
1. Menu interface/Aesthetics
2. Image quality
3. Scanning accuracy/data recognition technology capabilities using the app’s built-in camera features
4. Scanning accuracy/data recognition technology capabilities using a pre-selected image
5. iPhone Contacts integration
6. Storage features
7. Stand-out/Special features