Is that a scanner in your pocket?

By Daniel O'Leary posted 08-19-2010 10:19


Do you have an iPhone, Droid, Blackberry Storm, or any newer smart phone with a decent camera? Well then congratulations, you are ready to wade into the world of mobile capture.


Here is a typical scenario where mobile capture makes sense:


A receipt from my last trip

Your flight is delayed, and you have 2 hours at the outer Ethiopian airport to kill, and wifi costs $15. You have a giant stack of receipts from your trip, and dread filling out the expense report on Monday morning when you get back to the office. While you contemplate your fate, you can take advantage of your smart phone's camera and free mobile capture apps to immediately start capturing and processing all of your receipts and documents. 


I've personally been using mobile capture for receipts, and handwritten meeting notes among other things. Mobile capture is perfect for other things too- field service representatives, home health aides, consultants, and anyone who doesn't want to wait to get back to an office to scan documents.


After looking at the various options, I decided to use a combination of Evernote and Genius Scan (both free in the app store) to handle my capture on the go. Take pictures of documents using the built in camera on your iPhone, then immediately turn them into properly named, tagged, multi-page PDF's. All of that data is then stored in Evernote, and backed up to the cloud, and to all of my synced devices. Once all of the data has been captured, you can easily e-mail it for approval and routing. The best part about this is, you can stop lugging around paper, and accomplish more in less time. If you don't have a smart phone yet or your organization is considering purchasing them, you should plan on getting devices with cameras. 


Mobile scanning best practices and features to look for:

  • Support for JPG and PDF, so you can take pictures and convert them into a PDF document
  • Documents can be automatically straightened and enhanced
  • Files can be sent or e-mailed from the application, and will connect to your external repositories and systems
  • OCR. This will depend greatly on the types of things you are capturing. There was a great post from Joe Budelli that talks about mobile OCR

Are you ready to start scanning with the device in your pocket? Have you already tried it? Think that the only scanner in your life should be the size of a Minicooper and operated by a trained scanning professional? Leave a comment, send a tweet, and let me know.

#Capture #ScanningandCapture #apps #iphone #mobile #Android #OCR