If you really hate p-books this may be a must for you. CZUR are crowdfunding the CZUR Shine Ultra portable scanner on Indegogo. They’re doing pretty well too — they seem to be 52,680% funded already, thanks to 5701 backers who’ve pledged $675,528 with 23 days to go. — When I drafted this post about a week ago, these were the numbers. Since then things have moved on: they’re now 79,702% funded with 8,195 backers. Still 15 days to go. See if you want one:

If you don’t see a video here please click on the title of this post in order to view it in your browser.

CZUR’s claim to be able to scan 180 languages sounds odd at first sight: aren’t they just doing an image scan? They say they are scanning at 340 dpi (dots per inch) which certainly suggests that. However, what’s actually going on is that the initial scan (a 340 dpi image scan) can be exported in 4 different formats, a PDF, a TIFF, a searchable PDF, and as an OCR file.

CZUR is a Chinese company, and they already offer a table-top book scanner. It seems that $129 invested at Indegogo will get you one of these machines — but of course you’ve got to want to convert your library to some kind of digital format to make even this reasonable price look worthwhile. Still there could also be business applications.

The brave new world of scanning started in 1984, and since then prices have come crashing down. Reliability has improved too. This machine does actually look tempting: but I still can’t really figure out what I’d need to use it for.