A new cellphone in development by NEC is able to take snapshots of text and convert to text, using a rudimentary optical character recognition (OCR) software. Wave your camera in front of a page for three seconds or so, and the software takes dozens of still images of the page and effectively merges them together using the outline of the page as a reference guide. The software can also detect the curvature of the page and correct any distortion so caused, enabling even the areas near the binding to be scanned clearly.
“The goal of our research is to enable mobile phones to be used as portable faxes or scanners that can be used any time,” an NEC spokesman said.
Says the scurvy blog BoingBoing, from whence we hijacked this information, "This is abominably cool, so of course there are a couple of alarmist Luddite publishing types who are predicting that this will napsterize the printed page and cause gigantic copyright headaches."
Avast, me hearties, and full speed ahead!