Ion Audio, best-known for producing products to help music lovers transfer tracks from vinyl to CD, has released a product promising to do the equivalent for books.
Book Saver can digitize a book and store it on an SD card in just 15 minutes, says the company, when it can then be read on e-readers and tablets such as the Kindle or iPad.
The $150 device does require the user to flip through the book manually, but can cope with a speed of two pages per second - up to 14 times faster than other scanning systems, says ION. It has two cameras which take separate images in rapid succession of each page within an open book. Both cameras are equipped with a flash.
The cradle in which the book is placed during the scanning process is angled so that users don't have to hold pages down to get a flat, even surface.
“ION continues to lead the way in smart, intuitive conversion products,” said Gregg Stein, Managing Director, ION. “Book Saver is the only device needed to quickly make all your books, comics, magazines or other documents e-reader compatible.”
Of course, one thing CD rippers did for music lovers was make it vastly easier for people to share music illegally. And while ION assures its customers that it's perfectly legal to copy a book in this way for personal use, the same doesn't apply to sharing it.
All the same, it'll be a big temptation for, say, college students with better things to spend their money on then textbooks.