Feature Writer Alena Roberts – Stand Scan: Making OCR on the iPhone Practical and Usable

One of the first accessible pieces of software that I was introduced to over a decade ago was OpenBook. This software allowed me to scan papers and be able to read the text using my screen reader. At the time, scanning documents took quite a while, but if you had the time, it made printed material readable.

In the past ten years, programs like OpenBook have come a long way and Optical Character Recognition technology (called “OCR”) now takes seconds instead of minutes. You can even use your iPhone to read documents. The fundamental problem of using the iPhone for text detection, though, is that you have to hold the phone just right or the image isn’t good enough to make the text readable. But thankfully, there is now a solution to this problem called “Stand Scan.”

Think of Stand Scan as a mounting device for your phone. When Stand Scan is set up, it looks like a light box. There is a hole on the top where you line up your camera lens and a white bottom where you place your printed materials. The pro version also comes with an LED light to make scans even more accurate. Since it’s made from lightweight materials, it can even be folded up and put in a bag when you’re done. This makes it portable and useful when you’re out and about. I think I might even set it up the next time I’m at a new restaurant to read the menu–it’s really that easy to carry around.

I am very impressed with this product. I have used it with two OCR apps on my iPhone and have had very good results. The apps I tested it with are Text Detective and Prizmo. No longer am I worried about whether or not my phone is level or if I’m getting the entire document or page in the picture frame.

The basic Stand Scan model is $20 and the pro version, which comes with the light, is $30. If you’re looking for a way to avoid using a flatbed scanner or if you need a scanning solution when you’re away from home, then Stand Scan is the easy and affordable way to go.

Here is a link to Stand Scan’s website: http://standscan.com

Have any of you used Stand Scan yet?

19 Comments

  1. RT @matildaziegler: : Feature Writer Alena Roberts – Stand Scan: Making OCR on the iPhone Practical and Usable http://t.co/pohGN9XCI9

  2. RT @blindperspectiv: RT @matildaziegler: : Feature Writer Alena Roberts – Stand Scan: Making OCR on the iPhone Practical and Usable http …

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  13. RT @kara_louise18: brilliant RT @brianhartgen: Article. Stand Scan: Making OCR on the iPhone Practical and Usable. http://t.co/vVYpljgaoZ

  14. RT @brianhartgen: Article. Stand Scan: Making OCR on the iPhone Practical and Usable. http://t.co/DAakBxBWWL

  15. RT @kara_louise18: brilliant RT @brianhartgen: Article. Stand Scan: Making OCR on the iPhone Practical and Usable. http://t.co/vVYpljgaoZ

  16. RT @brianhartgen: Article. Stand Scan: Making OCR on the iPhone Practical and Usable. http://t.co/DAakBxBWWL

  17. Thanks Alena,

    Just wanted to inform you’ll that you will need the StandScan Pro for good OCR results, the regular model will not work well for you as it relies on good ambient lighting. The Pro version makes sure the lighting is perfect for every scan.
    The StandScan Pro ships by default with a 9V battery holder. To get maximum brightness from the lights that are built in, 12Volts of power is required. We have 2 optional accessories which are a 12V power adaptor and 12V battery pack.
    Sorry if this sounds overly salesy, I just want to make sure you have all the details to buy the right model and accessories so that you arent disappointed with the product when you receive it.

    If you have any further questions about the product, please feel free to email me at info@standscan.com

    Thanks,

    Harry

  18. The stand scan? first of all, how are the batteries charged and does it have an AC Adapter to charge the battery pack?

    Second of all, should there also be a model made for the Ipad and the Ipad Mini, because, you have people that are not currently employed can in no way afford the extra costs of data plans that are required with the Iphone. Not unless the community is willing to work with the FCC and the government to allow for the Iphones to be made available through safelink and any other companies that offer life line cell phone services for those who are low income and are on governmental benefits, which are on fixed incomes like SSI, SSDI and Medicare and or Medicaid. Some of these apps like stand scan and money Identifyer, color Identifier and also the blind persons’ version of the GPS and other features, that they can use to get volunteer sighted assistance over the Internet via Wi Fi.

  19. The batteries it uses are regular alkaline 9V batteries. The optional 12V battery pack uses 8 AA batteries. These last a while so don’t need regular charging. You can use rechargeable batteries also.

    The StandScan works with an iPad mini.

    You do not need a data plan, just a StandScan with an OCR app will do the job.