Office scanners may briefly have become a source of fun at all those office parties last month, but now that the festivities are well and truly behind us, we tend to overlook this useful machine and how much it contributes to the productivity of the office.
I once came across a company that made do without a scanner in their office by taking photos of documents on mobile phones. Apart from the quality of the images, there was a complete lack of security and accountability of the copies made.
Needless to say, I quickly persuaded them that an image scanner would serve their needs, offering a proper virtual “paper trail” for every document.
So I thought I’d take a quick look at image scanners this month. I find this sort of thing fascinating, and I think you will too.
The History Of Image Scanners
During Victorian times, there were numerous inventive attempts to create a device that could recreate images, some of which became acknowledged as the forbears of modern fax and image scanning machines.
The Italian pantelegraph came into service in the 1860s and used a series of electromagnets and pendulums to recreate and transmit small drawings and signatures by synchronising movements with a remote machine.
The French responded with the Belinograph of 1913 which used a drum rotating at up to 240 rpm and photodetector to send analogue signals to a receiver.
However, it wasn’t until a team at the US National Bureau of Standards led by Russell Kirsch achieved the Holy Grail in 1957 by building of the first modern image scanner. The first image ever scanned was a small photograph or Russell’s three-month-old son, Walden.
How Scanners Work
Image scanners optically scan pictures and documents, converting them into a digital form that can be read and stored by computers and recreated on a monitor.
A photoelectric cell in the scanner measures the amount of light reflected from each part of the original image, differentiating dark typeface from the surrounding paper and the different shades of colour in photographs. It then converts these measurements into a digital code.
The scanner head moves backwards and forwards across the subject document or picture to build up a complete digital image.
Getting The Most From Your Scanner
The paperless office has been a dream of office bureaucrats for decades, but image scanners bring that concept a step closer to reality.
Many of my clients work in the law, in which case only a hard copy will do. Fortunately, as well as scanners, our MFDs also incorporate photocopying, printing and even fax capability. However, for most offices image scanners mean savings on stationery and storage costs. They also cut down on your postage costs by letting you attach documents to emails.
Trio Systems offers the full range of Canon MFD, complete with scanner function. If you’d like more information on the best MFD to suit your office needs, then contact Trio Systems or call on 020 8893 4455.
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