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Imaging Devices

IRISCard Anywhere 5 Business Cards Scanner

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Business cards rather than playing cards have been occupying Michael F. of late

Despite Bluetooth offering the wireless streaming of data over short distances, many people still prefer to hand out business cards, engraved with personal details, like sweets even, ironically, when attending an event promoting Bluetooth technology. Dealing with the plethora of cards that can come your way at such events and transferring the information to a database can be a time consuming operation. Offering to help with this task, though, is the I RISC card Anywhere 5. Released with the tag line "You scan, it organizes", this particular kit consists of the card scanner unit and document management software for either Windows or Mac platforms.

You also get a standard-to-mini USB lead, calibration card and cleaning swab (neither of which I have needed to use, as yet) plus various items of documentation that include a discount voucher for a future IRIS purchase and a claim form for a free SD card.

 

IRISCard Anywhere 5

IRISCard Anywhere 5

As its name suggests, the Anywhere 5 is a portable device that allows you to scan and store business cards while on your travels, by the simple process of feeding cards into the mouth of the device. It's 512MB of flash memory gives it the ability to store over 2,500

A Scans and data cards as, on average, a single card image takes up just 205K when scanned at 300dpi. If more storage is required, there the options to insert an SD card or USB flash stick to increase capacity. While it's perhaps a little too large (at 157.4 x 43 x 54.5mm) for the pocket, it could easily be carried in a bag.

This card scanner is not a TWAIN device, it should be regarded as a USB storage unit with scanning capabilities. Stored content will need to be transferred to a database, via the supplied USB lead, using the Cardiris software that forms part of the package. It allows you to transfer individual cards manually, or you can set up the software to automatically download any new data when the card scanner is attached to a computer.

Sometimes editing will be required to correct errors, but generally these instances were the result of layout issues

Sometimes editing will be required to correct errors, but generally these instances were the result of layout issues

By default the Cardiris software brings in the scanned image, though, which is not what you really need. In order for the necessary data to be extracted, the card needs to be recognized. The data is then laid out in the relevant fields alongside the scanned image. There is a setting that can be turned on so that the necessary recognition is carried out automatically when images are downloaded from the card scanner. To avoid confusion, due to different international settings, you can select the country of origin for batches of cards from a drop down pick list.

On the whole the Cardiris software made a reasonable stab at extracting data from a variety of business cards in both landscape and portrait orientation. The data can be exported to other applications such as Microsoft Excel, Outlook, Palm Desktop and Google Contacts. You can also convert data to generic formats such as CSV and VCF.

IRISCard Anywhere 5 Business Cards Scanner

IRISCard Anywhere 5 Business Cards Scanner

Sometimes editing will be required to correct errors, but generally these instances were the result of layout issues. I did come across one strange instance when two cards from different individuals at the same company were recognized. Although the layout of both cards was the same, Cardiris was only able to extract the person's name from one card. All the other information was correctly identified. I have yet to get to the bottom of this anomaly

Details

  • Price: $131
  • Manufacturer: IRIS
  • Website: www.irislink.com
  • Required spec: Pentium processor, 512MB of RAM, 300MB HDD space, Windows XP or later/PowerPC G3 or Intel processor, 160MB HDD space, OS X 10.4 or later

 

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