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article imageReview: Aura scanner simplifies digital imaging Special

By Tim Sandle     Oct 16, 2018 in Technology
A new document scanner called Aura has been developed, by its inventors in Hong Kong, to help to speed up and to simplify a range of small office based scanning needs.
The CZUR Aura works as a smart book scanner and also a high-quality table lamp (the sculptural form suits an office or home environment). The scanner is being launched by the Chinese company via an Indiegogo campaign, prior to a global launch.
Technology has moved away from desktop flatbed scanner where the document is placed on a glass window for scanning towards hand-held or portable devices. Large scanners have a role in bigger businesses, however many people are looking for portability and functionality. Hand-held scanners, where the device is moved by hand, take the form of scanning "wands.” The Aura fits into this latter category, making it suitable for small businesses.
The CZUR Aura scanner works as a document and image scanner  and as a versatile lamp.
The CZUR Aura scanner works as a document and image scanner, and as a versatile lamp.
In terms of functionality, the scanner can be used digitize books without unbinding them. The output of the scans, which are as jpg image files, can be converted into a pdf, into Microsoft Word or Excel using OCR technology. This is at a rate of 2.5 seconds per page). The scanner can scan a range of page sizes up to A3 in size.
The Aura as viewed from above. The scanner is fast  a 300-page book can be scanned in just 20 minute...
The Aura as viewed from above. The scanner is fast, a 300-page book can be scanned in just 20 minutes.
The scanner uses conventional scanning technology, however the speed is much faster than with a desktop scanner. The scanning process is based on a charge-coupled device array. As light strikes one of the charge-coupled devices in the array, the light photons move to free the electrons in the semiconducting material.
This creates a charge that is directly proportional to the intensity of the light. After a complete scan, the resulting sequence of charges is then digitized and the image is formed. The Aura comes with a 32-bit MIPS CPU and 14MP HD camera.
The Aura scanner. It has the ability to convert the digital book format to PDF or editable MS Word a...
The Aura scanner. It has the ability to convert the digital book format to PDF or editable MS Word at a fast rate of 2.5sec/page).
The scanner is very simple to use and there is no sound made when the scan takes place. After installing the software, the scanner is placed onto a black mat which is provided with the device. A document is placed underneath and this is visible on both an LCD screen at the top of the scanner and on a computer screen. The object being scanned does not need to be straight since the scanner adjusts and squares the image. The device also uses an AI algorithm to straighten book curves.
The Aura also comes with a foot operation control.
The Aura also comes with a foot operation control.
An example of a scan made with the scanner is shown below (this is part of a conference presentation, printed from Microsoft PowerPoint):
A print out from PowerPoint  taken from a conference presentation delivered by the author  scanned b...
A print out from PowerPoint, taken from a conference presentation delivered by the author, scanned by the Aura scanner.
The scanner also doubles as a versatile lamp with four different light settings, including one that mimics daylight which can provide some comfort for a winter evening. The current crosfunding price offer starts at $179 for the model without a rechargeable battery.
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