Saturday, January 26, 2013

HoverCam: Portable Scanner and Document Viewer In One



The HoverCam is a collapsible document camera and scanner all in one portable package. The HoverCam first slides out of the base and then swings out from the arm. The HoverCam T5 has a five megapixel camera which allows the HoverCam to capture crisp scans of documents up to 11" X 14". The HoverCam plugs into a Mac or PC using USB and does not require any external power. To begin using the HoverCam, launch the HoverCam Flex software which is included with the HoverCam T5. The HoverCam Flex software gives you the option to start scanning, capture a video, or show and annotate a document on a projector. Click read more below to learn more.




Scanning:

In order to scan to a PDF, JPEG, or other file type, place the document under the camera and position it properly then snap the picture. If you have more than one page you can use an included alignment bumper to line up each page more quickly. The HoverCam takes pictures very quickly with almost no time lag. Scanning documents with the HoverCam seems to be more difficult than scanning documents with a flatbed scanner. A scanner requires less aliment and adjustments but at the HoverCam is much more portable than a flatbed scanner. A scanner with a multi-page feeder would also be much faster than the HoverCam at scanning multi-page documents. The document quality is similar to the quality of a scanner which is impressive for a device of this size. From my experience the HoverCam has similar quality and speed compared to a portable scanner. I would not recommend students rely on the HoverCam to scan documents during class unless it is at a work-station during study hall . Using any scanner during class while the teacher is lecturing or other students are working with the print material can be distracting and time consuming. Scanning of books is one of the strong suits of the HoverCam. You can just put the book under the HoverCam, align in correctly, and then scan the first two pages then just flip the page to scan the next two pages. With a flatbed scanner it is much more difficult because you must lift the book after each page. The HoverCam includes built in LED lights for use in dimly lit rooms. The HoverCam also includes a mat with tactile alignment ridges for the blind and visually impaired.

Video:

Video recording is not the HoverCam's strong suit. The video seemed very choppy and the audio from the built in microphone was muffled. When moving a hand across the screen the hand would have a ghost effect.  

Document Camera:

The HoverCam also has document camera functionality. It allows teachers or presenters to display documents to a group. The built in LED lights provide good image quality even in dimly light rooms. When showing a document you can add annotations including text and underlines. The HoverCam also includes a Kensington-compatible security slot so you can lock it up when you're not using it.

Kurzweil Compatibility:

Kurzweil 3000 users can use the HoverCam as a scanner to directly scan documents into Kurzweil. Watch the above video to learn more about HoverCam compatibility with Kurzweil. 

Pricing/Availability:

The HoverCam T3 costs $219 and the HoverCam T5 costs $279 from thehovercam.com. The HoverCam T3 includes a 3 megapixel camera while the T5 includes a 5 megapixel camera. The T5 includes some other features that are not available on the less expensive T3. Visit thehovercam.com to learn more. 

Who Can Benefit?

The HoverCam could be a good tool for students who use Kurzweil and does not already have a scanner. With the HoverCam you can portably scan documents which is impossible with a flatbed scanner. The HoverCam is similar to a portable scanner in terms of speed and quality. For teachers, the HoverCam is a good document camera with annotation options.

Sample Document Scans:

Using HoverCam:




Using Scanner Pro for iPhone:



This product was provide to reviewer for purpose of review and was returned

Monday, January 14, 2013

Press Event Reawakening Facebook Smartphone Rumors


FaceBook SmartPhone
FaceBook SmartPhone
Facebook has scheduled to hold a media event on Tuesday, reawakening rumors that the social netowork will launch its own phone.

The event, set to be held at Facebook's headquarters on January 15, is prompting - for one more time - speculations that a Facebook smartphone is on the works.

Last November reports surfaced that HTC had been working with Facebook to develop a phone, code-named the Opera UL. However, the phone never materialized Facebook's CEO Mark Zuckerberg had denied the rumors.

TechCrunch is now claiming that the launch of a phone is imminent, indicating that "multiple sources have told us that they expect some sort of Facebook Phone to be on display on Tuesday."