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easier phone #/email/ URL input
How many times have you seen a xxx-
xxx-xxxx phone number, www._ website,
or _@_ email address in print you wished
to remember for later? No matter how
simple the alphanumeric formulation,
storing any phone number, URL, or email
address data in your head over time can
Look around your life and
see how many pieces of paper you have
with hard copy records of these three
types of information.
These often abstract symbol combinations
have no inherent monetary value, but
when typed into a keypad could be the
"priceless" tag of a Mastercard ad.
Wouldn't it be worth it to simplify this
code transfer process?
The "Web Wand" is a small personal
scanner optimized to record phone
numbers, email addresses, and website
URLs. It's a little stick, with a lens at the
tip and a connector on the top. When you
see a set of characters referencing a basic
telecom connection, you simply pull out
your "Web Wand" and swipe it over the
text and it is digitally stored for later.
Back at your PC, the wand snaps into a
USB port or makes a wireless connection
and downloads the recorded numbers,
letters, and punctuation into a cache with
routes to browsers, contact software, and
communication devices where the
information can be used to make a phone
call, send an email, or find a website.
The Web Wand Deluxe includes a
microrecorder to voice tag entries with
metadata. Future generations are being
designed to include functions for
transfering longer and more complex text
string sets from print to bits. The
popularity of these advanced models,
however, is not expected to approach the
anticipated market penetration of the
The beauty of the Web Wand is in its
elegance and utility. Like a bottle opener,
soft squeeze flashlight, or compact flash
drive; it is small enough to carry on a
keychain; deployed quickly, efficiently, and
reflexively; economically mass-produced;
and nice to have near when you need it.
Versions with customized case
construction and coloring and preloaded
contact information would make ideal
promotional items for businesses of all
Say goodbye to bundles of business cards,
piles of post-its, reams of ripped
newsprint, and all the solid strips, scraps,
and shards scratched and scribed with
sometimes cipherable symbols strings
supposed or suspected to be saving some
thing somewhat significant.
a related interesting idea [Cube, Feb 01 2006]
[st3f, Feb 01 2006]
extinct mini barcode reader technology [Cube, Feb 01 2006]
even better than the real thing
I like this a lot, and your mobile becomes the scanner [neilp, Feb 02 2006]
Google has this already
Their new data warehouse is based on silly-putty technology. [pathetic, Feb 02 2006]
||Admittedly, I bloviated on this concept
in ignorance of the current state of "pen
scanner" technology. Thanks to [st3f]
for prodding me on a belated research
surf to bring me up to date. This
would be different in that the scanner
would be optimized for the specific
function of reading only a few of the
most common types of text strings with
proven recognition and digital transfer
value. Ideally, it would be a cross
between an expensive sophisticted OCR
pen scanner and the give-a-way
gadgets, the "Qoder" and ":Cue:C.A.T."
||I have a device exactly like your description. Unfortunately, while scanning the text of your idea, it ran out of memory.
||I always thought that was a funny sounding word. Likely to be used by those who are guilty of it.
||Gosh, it's a real word. Who'da thought it. Prefer 'sciolist', myself.
||I use the camera on my phone for this....It may not be automated (I have to type in the info manually from the phone screen) but I can capture any kind of information. I can keep the pictures on my PC for future reference. OCRing the text out of these pictures would be possible, but the number of different text fonts and sizes, and the light, colour and photo quality mean that it would be very complex to setup a reliable solution.
||This has been done before... its called silly putty. When you get up in the morning, you put a blank piece of silly putty in your pocket/purse. You stop into a bookstore, and while browsing, come upon an URL. Immediately, you whip out your silly putty, flatten it against the URL, and walk away with a perfect (though mirrored) imprint.
||Remember, to keep in in the other pocket/purse than your supply of blank putty. Mixing silly putty notes together can cause some badly mangled URLs.
||Check out what the Google employees are doing with this stuff in the link annotated to the left ---> (I mean my other left).
||Hmmmm.... wait a minute.... maybe I should buy myself some silly putty, repackage it in thousands of boxes labled "web putty". I could put a 100% mark-up on it... and make millions in profits! Are there any venture capitalists in the house? This is totally scalable!
||Looks like the existing products could use some improvement, but what is really needed is software that knows what you want done with the OCR-ed text, and does it. URL's go to bookmarks in your web browser, phone numbers go to the contact list on your PDA or cell phone, and bibliographic citations go to your bibliographic database (with automatic download of PDFs when available), etc.
||I like it. It would be nice if it were
integrated into a USB memory stick, in the
same way that MP3 players sometimes are.