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Point & Do

It's in a magazine, I don't want to type it
  (+3, -1)
(+3, -1)
  [vote for,

My new Point & Do USB toy uses a laser optical scanner.

If I point it at a phone#, it dials the phone (which is connected to the computer).

If I point it at a URL, it launches a browser window

If I point it at a title or other text, it launches a browser window and performs a search using my favorite search engine.

theircompetitor, Jun 07 2005

WizCom QuickLink Pen Scanner http://www.pdasuppo...QuickLinkReview.htm
[half, Jun 07 2005]

Another pen scanner http://www0.shoppin...1~linkin_id-3055813
[half, Jun 07 2005]

"USB Powered" IRIS Pen Express http://store.yahoo....irispenexpress.html
[half, Jun 07 2005]


If I point it at the annoying little narg next door, it incinerates him.

       [Laser optical scanners can do that thing - read a phone number/URL/title in free text?]
DrCurry, Jun 07 2005

       this is the third time this week someone has posted an idea that I have been thinking about and it's got to stop...
po, Jun 07 2005

       DrCurry, feel free to substitute any optical reading device, camera, etc, they're small enough, and OCR quick enough, to start attempting this
theircompetitor, Jun 07 2005

       Well, I still want to be able to just save text for reference. But have a little "i" button that, when held down, performs your said actions above and beyond just storing said info. Or something like that...
daseva, Jun 07 2005

       [daseva], your little "i" button picks up text you're reading in Wired magazine?
theircompetitor, Jun 07 2005

daseva, Jun 07 2005

       What'd I miss? I thought daseva was saying to store the text as well as optionally taking the actions that your device offers.   

       Isn't there already a handheld, more-or-less pen form factor text scanner/storage device? Yep. Link. But, they aren't a point-and-read thing. They require a manual scanning of the text. That could probably be leveraged to do this job.   

       As for the "point and read" part of the idea, there are hand held CCD barcode scanners that can detect specific fonts and return the OCR'ed text to a host computer. They can also work as a digital camera to capture an image. The one sitting on my desk is a HHP Imageteam 4600.
half, Jun 07 2005

       I guess I'm talking about a device that would work as fast as using a mouse
theircompetitor, Jun 07 2005

       I assumed you didn't want to have to manually scan as the linked devices require.   

       How would you know exactly which text it was reading from a page? You'll have to somehow see what it's seeing or maybe have the scan area highlighted. The HHP has a green bar that it displays to show the center of the image that it's seeing. Once you can see what area it's seeing, how would you select the specific text that you want?   

       I can see being able to specify the height of the area by moving the device closer and further from the page. The variable length of text, (ick, wrapped text), would be tricky to select. Maybe just a thumbwheel to epand and contract the width of the section.   

       If it's a thing that could be in contact with the page, two thumbwheel type thingies could be used to adjust laser lines to define the position of the horizontal and vertical members of the frame, then click to scan the area. Perhaps built in to a mouse with a transparent viewing window?
half, Jun 07 2005

       Or attach one of those cool laser items that track your eye movements. Then you can scan whatever you're reading. But that changes the idea, sorry...   

       Why not have it manually scan text, like a highlighter you know? A really smart highlighter...
daseva, Jun 07 2005


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