Ion Book Scanner digitizes your 200-page books in 15 minutes for eReading


Thanks to the rising popularity of devices like the Kobo and Kindle, more and more people are starting to rely on e-books for their textual enjoyment. Even so, what do you do if you already have a massive library of dead tree editions? The Book Saver Book Scanner from Ion Audio could be the ticket.

I know. It’s a little weird finding a product like this from a company that normally specializes in turntables and other audio equipment, but you also have to realize that they’ve already developed products to convert vinyl records into MP3 files. The same kind of philosophy is taken with converting paper-based books into digital ones.

Yes, the Book Saver looks like quite the contraption with its spider-like legs and almost post-apocalyptic stance, but that’s part of why it can work so quickly. They’re saying that a 200-page book can be scanned and converted to e-book in 15 minutes.

The clever contraption consists of an angled cradle for holding your book and an upper frame with two cameras and built-in flash units (one pointed at each page). You snap the picture, flip the page, and move on. Each pair of pages takes about a second. At the end, the e-book is recorded onto an SD card and away you go.

You know what would help this $149 scanner even more? If it had some kind of mechanism for flipping the pages for you. Perhaps the $100,000 ScanRobot would better suit your needs.


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10 Comments

  1. Theo says:

    I believe the product has been withdrawn. Who knows why… piracy encouragement?

  2. LHNY says:

    This looks like it would work well with big, clear coffee table books. But I’m not sure it would be as effective for thick paperbacks with stiff binding. Especially not academic tomes in a foreign language with lots of umlauts and cedillas and tiny footnotes that need to be scanned at very high resolution in order to get an accurate OCR. Does anyone have any experience using this with books like that?

  3. Carringtonra says:

    were can i get the ion book scanner in the uk & for how much.

  4. Eduardo says:

    What’s the maximum size of each page is supported?

  5. dominic says:

    I am looking forward to this device.

    After losing some personal journals to a flood I toyed around with using a camera to digitize / back them up. It was tedious and the results were inconsistent. Hopefully, this will allow me to keep my bound copies AND have a digital backup.

    For those who question scanning their libraries, I am not sure if that is the goal of this device or even desirable. For me, being able to keep a stack of (electronic) books with me — sans the weight and space — while traveling on business easily makes up for losing the tactile feel of paper.

  6. LesleyO says:

    There are a few reference books not currently available for my Kindle that I’d love to have on it; this gadget would do the job, although it would certainly take some personel time investment on my part to get the job done.

    For those who think ereaders are like computers — that’s not the case if you have an ereader that uses e-ink. Very easy on the eyes, just like a book. And wonderful to have such a small and lightweight item with you that holds all of your books, including reference works!

  7. Lee says:

    @Drew – I also love my “dead tree” collection! And I agree that sometimes digital can go too far. Anyway, I spend my whole day in front of the computer, so I don’t want my experience of reading to become another computerised/digitised experience.

    Apart from that, it’s interesting to note that the vast majority of businesses still keep paper copies of their vital documents because hard copies are regarded as a safer form of archiving than digital, as (a) technology changes so quickly and (b) people don’t necessarily know how to access digitally-stored documents if they’re not familiar with the specific operating systems and software they’re stored on.

    On the environmental side:
    1. Without well-managed commercial tree plantations, the average global temperature would be approximately 5% higher than it is today and we wouldn’t have vast carbon sinks spread out all over the world.
    2. Paper is a renewable, recyclable and BIODEGRADABLE resource. Digital technologies depend on hardware made almost exclusively from non-renewable resources, most of them derived from petrochemicals.
    3. One Google search uses about as much energy as boiling a kettle, so digital technology isn’t always the better option.

  8. Drew says:

    I love my ‘dead tree’ collection! Why would I waste time to scan books that I already have in a perfectly fine medium to one that requires batteries?

    Sometimes going digital can go to far and I would say this is it.

  9. Dreezy says:

    Forget about reading Tolstoy or Ayn Rand. I’m not flipping 900 pages!

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