Idiot-proof scanner meets market need, says IDC

IDC Research's Graham Penn agrees with Hewlett-Packard's belief that there is a large market in New Zealand for its new idiot-proof scanner. HP may only be the first of many scanner companies targeting the small to medium-sized enterprise level, says Penn. HP's ScanJet 5100C uses "intelligent scanning technology" software to take the "technical detail" out of scanning.

IDC Research’s Graham Penn agrees with Hewlett-Packard’s belief that there is a large market in New Zealand for its new idiot-proof scanner.

HP may only be the first of many scanner companies targeting the small to medium-sized enterprise level, says Penn.

HP’s ScanJet 5100C uses “intelligent scanning technology” software to take the “technical detail” out of scanning. Penn likens it to a “scanning wizard” which allows the less-technically minded to do their job while the scanner gets on with its work.

HP’s Australian product development manager, Edmund Wong, believes the ScanJet is ideal for those businesses that don’t use a scanner often enough for staff to become comfortable with the process.

“They still need to scan documents but may not understand DPI, OCR, TIFF, JPEG, etc [image processing terms].”

The ScanJet uses a dual scanning technique to remove the need for separate passes over a single document. The IST software “recognises” different elements, like text or photographs, and decides for itself how best to scan them. HP claims this dramatically increases the scanning speed without sacrificing accuracy.

“For a size 12 font we have 99% accuracy in character recognition,” says Wong.

Penn says the visual input market, digital cameras and scanners, are evolving quickly. “There are about 45 scanner manufacturers in Taiwan at the moment. Only around 12 are reasonably viable.” On top of that he sees the major players, like HP, setting the standards for the others.

“HP has automated some of the things which were pains. My guess is that in 12 months this will be a standard feature on all scanners.”

The ScanJet 5100C is available now at a retail price of $529 excluding GST. Penn expects to see that fall to around the $350 mark within 12 months as other companies offer similar products.

“Whether it’s worth the dollars will depend on users and their needs.”

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