2008-07-15

Pen scanner recommendation

I'm always looking for a tool to make it easier to do my book reviews. I'm hoping someone can offer a recommendation.

As I read a book, I keep 20-30 book darts on the back page (TSA sometimes thinks they look like a saw on the X-Ray). When I find a passage that is interesting, funny, well written, or potentially useful, I flag it with a book dart.

When I finish the book, I go back through and type all of those paragraphs out into OneNote. This is the part I hate.

Rather than type them out, I'd like to find a good pen scanner that I can use to digitize those passages and save the hour or more I spend typing.

To use a pen scanner, a user holds it like a highlighter and drags it along the text.

Unfortunately, while there are a bunch of them listed on Amazon, the reviews are incredibly mediocre. Most of them seem to earn about 3-4 stars. On top of that, it looks like they were mostly released between 2001 and 2005. Some of them even connect through a serial port.

I find it amazing that tech products that seem to barely work haven't been updated in 3+ years.

So can anyone recommend a pen scanner that works well, with decent OCR? Ideally, I would not need to have it connected to the PC while scanning, though I could give up on that feature.

Does anyone make a good one? Do they even try? Or have I just stumbled across my million dollar idea?

2 comments:

Beau71 said...

At work, we have a handful of WIZCOM WQT3LITEs. They work great. But I think with today's OCR technology, anything will work well for you

Theresa Komor said...

I've never heard of any working well enough to save typing time myself. I was wondering if the Gutenberg Project would have any of the books in digital form where you could just copy/paste out the passages you want?