Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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OneScan device

Low cost ($3) device scans image and shows it
 
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Examples:

a. Hold the OneScan fridge magnet onto a drawing. Press the button. The OneScan is now a fridge magnet with the message.

b. Hold the OneScan business card and you have the image of your business card in your hand. The guy you give it to can store other business cards and go through them.

c. Hold the OneScan picture album to old images and scan them directly in. This one also has a memory card.

Use a tiny LCD screen and one or two buttons for input. Use a low cost camera, and scan in slowly and focused, or maybe some other digital or optic method. - I'm leaving that for the engineering second half.

pashute, May 06 2011

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       so like... a camera ?
FlyingToaster, May 06 2011
  

       Amazing, lens + CCD + flash memory + LCD + battery + microprocessor = $3. I'll take two!
pocmloc, May 06 2011
  

       I too am impressed you can do all this for $3
hippo, May 06 2011
  

       ha that's nothing - somebody else is proposing a jet engine for 25 cents
afinehowdoyoudo, May 06 2011
  

       No, the flash memory one is more expensive. $10.   

       Low res CCD (on Alibaba) at 10K units: 80c.   

       Microprocessor: (e.g. COP888EK from National Semiconductor) 49c.   

       LCD: http://www.yes-lcd.com/yes/ Less than a $.   

       Plastic lens: 20c.
pashute, May 09 2011
  

       Mounting said CCD, lens, processor and LCD - $2. Components to mount it 50c ea (3-4). Wiring and wiring assembly, $2-3. Clean room facility to do assembly, $10,000,000 (admittedly not per unit). Sales and marketing ~$2-3. Profit to the manufacturer $2-3. Profit to the wholesaler $2-3. Profit to the reseller, $2-3.
MechE, May 09 2011
  

       //the flash memory one is more expensive// So, how does the cheap one retain the image?
pocmloc, May 09 2011
  

       Hey what's this? The smell of baking?? Since when has COGS been a concern at the halfbakery?
white, May 12 2011
  

       Since [pashute] and [MechE] got into a dispute with their HMO and lost the funding for the atypical neuroleptics that helped keep their symptoms under control.
8th of 7, May 12 2011
  

       There's always ECT.
mouseposture, May 12 2011
  

       What's ECT?   

       Anyway, they'll do it in china for 20 cents a piece if you buy 400,000. But you stand a 60% chance that it will work and even be sold nicely, but by your competitor - who happens to be the same aforementioned Chinese company.
pashute, Nov 08 2011
  

       Electroconvulsive therapy.   

       Your chosen microcontroller is nowhere near powerful enough for any kind of image acquisition, processing, storage, or display. It would be more suitable for a meat thermometer or kitchen timer.   

       Most display technologies require power to continue displaying an image. Electrophoretic displays (e-paper) don't, but they don't have good (or usually any) color reproduction.   

       How are you going to make an optical system even 10 times as thick as a business card, even if you're comparing it to other electronic business cards (like the ones engineers design to stand out from other job applicants, which are up to about 2 mm thick)?   

       Bad science – [-]
notexactly, Dec 03 2018
  
      
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