Scanning thick or irregularly shaped pages can be difficult with a traditional scanner. The HoverCam Solo 8 is a USB scanner with a stand-mounted camera that can easily scan unusual documents. It also has video capture capabilities and supports live image presentation.
The HoverCam Solo 8 is essentially an eight megapixel autofocus color camera mounted on an adjustable stand that lets you raise, lower or rotate the camera head. You can capture images at any angle, horizontal to vertical, with this unit. Four built-in LEDs on the camera arm provide even illumination for your scanning area. The Solo 8 folds down to a compact 11 x 3.15 x 3.15-inch package and weighs just over 2 pounds.
The USB scanner's camera captures documents as large as 11 x 17 inches, producing images up to 3264 x 2448 pixels. The camera's high depth of field lets you take clear pictures of irregular surfaces. This unit has no paper feed; you need to manually position each item you're capturing beneath the camera stand. The control software provides a timer-based scan feature with a one-second granularity, so you can capture documents as quickly as you can turn the page. You can also trigger the camera when it senses motion. In this mode, turning a page triggers the scanning process after a user-configurable delay. The Solo 8 also captures live HD video and has a built-in microphone. You can use it as a presentation device.
This USB scanner comes with camera control and image capture software. This package is integrated directly into the camera stand, eliminating the need for an installation disc. System requirements are minimal: an Intel-compatible computer with 1GB RAM running either Windows or OS X. The provided applications are different for each operating system, but the capabilities are similar. Both versions provide zoom, focus and crop controls for the camera, and color, contrast and saturation adjustments for captured images. And both include file archiving and annotation features. The Windows version has optical character recognition and text-to-speech capability, plus document sharing to social media or cloud services. OCR and sharing support are in development for the OS X version. Both software packages support live video capture at 720p, 1080p or VGA resolutions.
The HoverCam Solo 8 is a versatile, camera-based USB scanner. It captures high-resolution still images or live HD video. The camera's high depth of field camera scans irregular surfaces or unusual shapes that sheet-fed and flatbed scanners can't handle. This unit is somewhat larger and heavier than other portable scanners, but its additional features make it a good choice if you need both presentation and scanning tools.