Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Doxie Go is not a "Cloud" Scanner

After quickly skimming the information about the Doxie Go a while ago, it sounded pretty promising, and I was looking forward to reading some reviews. Now that I've had a chance to read a review and re-read the Doxie website, I'm less impressed than I was expecting to be.

Essentially, the Doxie Go is a scanner that doesn't need to be hooked up with a computer at the time that you do the scanning, but when you actually want to use the images, you need to transfer those images from the scanner to a computer using one of several relatively normal means:

  • Put the Go's flash card into a card reader.
  • Attach the Go to your computer with a USB cable.
  • Use a wifi flash card and transfer the images wirelessly.
  • Use an un-released iOS sync kit.
  • etc.
This means you can take a scanner with you, then later transfer the scans to a computer, which is a useful capability, but it's not what I imagined, or really what I want.

What I'd Really Like
Something like the Go, but taken a step further – a scanner backed by a modern web-based document management system that allows me to abstract away the idea of where my documents are.  I don't want to have to sync at all, I don't want to care which computer the images are on, where I've stored them in a filesystem.

Essentially, the scanner should store the documents only as long as it needs to in order to transfer them up to a central location. The central location would be a modern document management system accessible from anywhere through web and native software interfaces.

The most likely form of transfer would be wifi, although a 3G option might have merits for the most "mobile" of users.  You'd need some way of configuring it for secure wifi, and possibly even a button to say "sync now" although ideally I'd prefer the scanner to simply make that determination on its own.

Some of the things I'd be scanning for record-keeping, like bills. These, I would almost never actually transfer to any machine of mine unless I were being audited, I'd simply leave these in the central document management interface.  In this case, the ability to keep these documents organize, tag them, and have OCR performed on them for searching would be useful.  Having intelligent OCR performed as an additional service for receipts a la Shoeboxed would be a nice value-add that I'd be willing to pay extra for.

Other documents would be images I plan on incorporating into another document, on the web or in a local word processing program. In these cases, I'd extract the image using the web or native software interfaces, and then embed the image into my local document or blog post.

Doxie Go Again
The Doxie Go doesn't have any kind of cloud-service for scanning. It's just a scanner that can disconnect the act of scanning from the act of transferring the scanned images to a computing device. That's useful, but it doesn't offer the kind of convenience I was hoping for.

So – who's going to build what I want?

1 comment:

  1. Doxie Go already meets your requirements -- add an Eye-Fi wireless card, use a service like Evernote as your "document management system", and Doxie Go will wirelessly upload your scans to Evernote as you scan them.

    No need to "sync now" -- as you scan, each image is immediately and securely transmitted via Wi-Fi to your Evernote account. The SD card will automatically clear out scans that have been upload, and Evernote will do OCR in the cloud. You can download or sort through images as you wish using Evernote's desktop, iPhone, or web interfaces.

    Paul Scandariato