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How Google's High Speed Book Scanner De-Warps Pages

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 5 years ago | from the onto-dewarping-brains-next dept.

Books 209

Hugh Pickens writes "Patent 7,508,978, awarded to Google, shows how the company has already managed to scan more than 7 million books. Google's system uses two cameras and infrared light to automatically correct for the curvature of pages in a book. By constructing a 3D model of each page and then 'de-warping' it afterward, Google can present flat-looking pages online without having to slice books up or mash them onto a flatbed scanner. Stephen Shankland writes that the 'sophistication of the technology illustrates that would-be competitors who want to feature their own digitized libraries won't have a trivial time catching up to Google.' First, a book is placed on a flat surface, while above it, an infrared projector displays a special mazelike pattern onto the pages. Next, two infrared cameras photograph the infrared pattern from different perspectives. 'The images can be stereoscopically combined, using known stereoscopic techniques, to obtain a three-dimensional mapping of the pattern,' according to the patent. 'The pattern falls on the surface of (the) book, causing the three-dimensional mapping of the pattern to correspond to the three-dimensional surface of the page of the book.'"

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Kudos (-1)

arizwebfoot (1228544) | more than 5 years ago | (#27971993)

Congrats to Google.

Playing Catch-up (1)

krog (25663) | more than 5 years ago | (#27972201)

... The sophistication of the technology illustrates that would-be competitors who want to feature their own digitized libraries won't have a trivial time catching up to Google.

Especially with that shiny new patent.

Re:Playing Catch-up (5, Insightful)

jsnipy (913480) | more than 5 years ago | (#27972227)

but to be honest this is at least worthy patent

Re:Playing Catch-up (4, Informative)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 5 years ago | (#27972387)

Obviously it was worthy enough to be issued; but I don't know how worthy it is in the broader sense.

Notably, for instance, there has been a fair bit of interest, for some years, in using digital cameras in concert with projectors, either for automatic keystone/distortion correction, for projectors that aren't perfectly aligned with the projection surface, or for automatic coordination of multiple projectors illuminating the same surface, without laborious manual tiling adjustment. This is, in essence, an equivalent problem(inferring a surface's geometry based on pictures of a known image projected upon it).

The IEEE has held "Projector-Camera systems" workshops since 2003 [procams.org] , and somebody was obviously working on it before that. I'm not saying that Google's patent falls into asshole troll territory or anything; but the notion of doing surface geometry inference based on known image projection isn't nearly as novel as it might seem.

Re:Playing Catch-up (3, Insightful)

poetmatt (793785) | more than 5 years ago | (#27972449)

This may be a projector thing, but they are doing something of physical manipulation. It would be pretty much appropriate to be patented. The whole thing is physically transformative. Meanwhile, if someone made their own version using something different, it too, would be patentable/improvement patent, which is how the patent system is supposed to work.

To be clear, I'm saying the system as a whole should be patentable (infrared), but not the software used to decode it.

Re:Playing Catch-up (1)

jcwayne (995747) | more than 5 years ago | (#27972689)

To be clear, I'm saying the system as a whole should be patentable (infrared), but not the software used to decode it.

That's were the copyright takes over.

(ducks, runs for cover)

Re:Playing Catch-up (1)

jcwayne (995747) | more than 5 years ago | (#27972725)

I know, thou shalt not ignore the preview when being a wise ass. Yeah, yeah.

To be clear, I'm saying the system as a whole should be patentable (infrared), but not the software used to decode it.

That's where the copyright takes over.

(ducks, runs for cover)

That reminds me (off topic) (2)

DCstewieG (824956) | more than 5 years ago | (#27972661)

Totally off topic here but I'll risk it.

It really bothers me that neither Rock Band nor Guitar Hero can auto-calibrate the audio lag using the microphone. There's absolutely no reason I can see that they can't "listen" for the calibration beeps with the mic to get a perfect reading.

Re:That reminds me (off topic) (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27972713)

Uhhh doesn't Rock Band 2 do that with a miniature microphone (and light sensor) built into the revised guitar?

Re:That reminds me (off topic) (1)

DCstewieG (824956) | more than 5 years ago | (#27972807)

Woah! I own the damn thing and I had no idea. In my defense I play drums 99% of the time. :) Thanks!

Re:Playing Catch-up (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 5 years ago | (#27972847)

Obviously it was worthy enough to be issued; but I don't know how worthy it is in the broader sense.

Just when I thought you were going to make an interesting point on the worthiness of patents "in the broader sense" as you put it, it turns out you were just rooting for someone else.

Your comment didn't turn out to be all that "worthy".

In the broader sense, that is.

Re:Playing Catch-up (5, Interesting)

ushering05401 (1086795) | more than 5 years ago | (#27972491)

Word.

I was involved in evaluating rare books back around the turn of the century.

I can personally attest that representatives of online book search companies were attempting to buy up one of a kind pieces for destructive scanning.

There was one dealer in possession of a somewhat flawed, but well examined Shakespeare folio that had to put the kabosh on a reputation making deal because he found out the buyer was going to slice the piece out of its binding for scanning.

I turned down a much smaller offer on a much less significant, but still very cool, two hundred year old angler's guide (with hand colored plates and original binding) for the same reason.

Quality scans without destruction can only help raise the profile of rare books and the value they offer society - not simply for their content, but as tangible examples of the evolution of the art of communication.

Bunch of Fags (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27972033)

Google is!

Re:Bunch of Fags (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27972407)

I guess it takes one to spot one.

The most important question (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27972063)

Did they get the "processing software" out of a cereal packet?

More importantly (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27972077)

Does it run on Linux? Does it work for scanning porn?

Re:More importantly (1)

moderatorrater (1095745) | more than 5 years ago | (#27972099)

Yes and yes, although only scanning in porn magazines instead of actually using it in the porn itself would be a very unimaginative way to use this technology...

Re:More importantly (1)

Tdawgless (1000974) | more than 5 years ago | (#27972171)

Now all my porn looks like a flat screen monitor...

Re:More importantly (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | more than 5 years ago | (#27972875)

Only a real weirdo would want to see those curves flattened, don't you think?

IMPORTANT QUESTIONS (2, Funny)

space_jake (687452) | more than 5 years ago | (#27972091)

I wonder how ass curvature comes out with that scanner.

Re:IMPORTANT QUESTIONS (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27972145)

The same way as your face.

note to self: (2, Funny)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 5 years ago | (#27972115)

do NOT sit on the copier machine with pants down at google hq

Re:note to self: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27972483)

001100
010010
011110
100001
101101
110011

Patent!!??!! (5, Funny)

aashenfe (558026) | more than 5 years ago | (#27972131)

When is the patent office going to quit giving patents for obvious techniques? :)

Re:Patent!!??!! (3, Funny)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 5 years ago | (#27972253)

So why didnt you do or patent it before?

Re:Patent!!??!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27972357)

This is basically the same as barcode-scanning at your local grocery store. Have you ever noticed the crosshatch pattern that it uses, along with a camera to interpret it? I'm sure that's either patented somewhere or too obvious to be. All they did was use a scanner instead of pattern recognition.

Re:Patent!!??!! (5, Informative)

Dewin (989206) | more than 5 years ago | (#27972511)

I believe the pattern barcode scanners use is simply trying to look for the barcode in several different directions, but I could be wrong.

I also believe there's either rudimentary correction for common types of distortion (i.e. on cylindrical objects) or just wide enough tolerances to allow it to work anyways.

Re:Patent!!??!! (1)

Dishevel (1105119) | more than 5 years ago | (#27972789)

You are correct.

Re:Patent!!??!! (1)

anglico (1232406) | more than 5 years ago | (#27972527)

I'm sure that's either patented somewhere

Unsure of the specific barcode you are talking about but if you are talking about the barcode that you see on UPS packages then it is UPS that patented that back in 1998 I think. I remember them showing us a video of the up and coming way to sort packages and they mentioned that they patented this new 3D barcode system.

Re:Patent!!??!! (2, Informative)

aashenfe (558026) | more than 5 years ago | (#27972439)

Simple, I was trying to be funny. Notice the smiley :)

Re:Patent!!??!! (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27972355)

I hate patents as much as anyone else, but:
1) This isn't so obvious, and requires some fairly complex math
2) It is pretty complex (in the way it functions), enough that i would actually consider this patent-worthy.

But, there is some "prior art" of such functions in the visible range for scanning bodies IIRC.

I believe this was meant to be funny, and i shall accept incoming whooshes of air with joy.
Have at you.

note: i still hate patents though.
I can't see why they would benefit from patenting this method...
I guess for the usual reasoning behind it, "FIRST!"

Re:Patent!!??!! (1)

javaxjb (931766) | more than 5 years ago | (#27972519)

I hate patents as much as anyone else, but: 1) This isn't so obvious, and requires some fairly complex math 2) It is pretty complex (in the way it functions), enough that i would actually consider this patent-worthy.

I would add that at least this patent is not solely a software patent; it has a hardware component.

Re:Patent!!??!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27972535)

It's obvious to anyone skilled in the art of image registration/processing. It doesn't have to be obvious to you, personally, in order to be unpatentable.

So... (5, Interesting)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 5 years ago | (#27972143)

How long before some particularly vengeful luddite publisher starts printing on treated paper stock that has an IR visible pattern, calculated to confuse these scanners, printed on it?

They've been making "anti-copy paper" designed to defeat optical scanning for years now, surely something similar in the IR band could be effected...

Re:So... (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27972313)

Maybe those books are less important to commit to a digital scan ;-)

Re:So... (4, Insightful)

twistedsymphony (956982) | more than 5 years ago | (#27972335)

they could probably do it in the visible spectrum as well, it would just take twice as long because they can't map and scan at the same time.

Failing that there are alternative methods that might work as well.

Re:So... (1)

Chyeld (713439) | more than 5 years ago | (#27972361)

Why? Just as you said, they already have anti-copy paper. If you don't want someone to be able to copy your book, simply print using that (of course, that will cause your costs to skyrocket). It's not as if the IR block would prevent the copy, it'd just mean the copy looks like crap (thus potentially impacting your image as a publisher).

Probably a non-issue (1)

DeadDecoy (877617) | more than 5 years ago | (#27972373)

That's probably a non-issue. Google, for legal reasons, only scans books they're permitted to, or whose copyrights have expired or been abandoned. (legal decision pending though). There are plenty of existing books, that if a publisher decided to be spiteful would amount to less than 1% of what is currently available to google and most works are now done via the computer so there would be an electronic copy somewhere. Google's pipe dream has been to organize the world's information. Therefore, if a group didn't want their work floating around on the internet or for scanning, there are plenty of practical and legal methods for doing so.

Re:So... (1)

bmwm3nut (556681) | more than 5 years ago | (#27972409)

Then you just do phased-lock detection. In the IR with current cheap detectors you can modulate in the kHz without any problem. I wouldn't be surprised if they do that now. In my lab we look for changes in an IR signal that are about 10^8 times smaller than the background IR radiation. It's not a hard problem to solve.

goodluckwiththat(tm) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27972533)

Umm.. you're aware that "anti-copy paper" is totally worthless against photographs, since any measures that work to defeat a photograph will also work to defeat normal reading too.

Any attempts to make it impossible to detect an IR grid projected on the page will meet the same fate, since very-near-IR is just "red" to some people. (Replace "very-near-IR" with "R+epsilon" if you need further explanation.)

What could you do?

  • Make it "black" (or well ... absorb infrared, but see comment about near-IR above)
  • Give it a mirror surface
  • Make it translucent/transparent

All of the above hurt regular readability and/or violate the laws of physics, so nobody would want your book if you used any of them.

Re:So... (1)

akunkel (74144) | more than 5 years ago | (#27972563)

Shortly thanks to you! And the ironic thing is that publisher will probably find your post here on Slashdot with that idea using Google.

Re:So... (3, Interesting)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 5 years ago | (#27972683)

I have to hope that any publisher hip enough to read Slashdot for tech advice(rather than relying on glossy advertisements from "security" vendors in the latest issue of Monetizing The Everloving Fuck Out of Your Precious, Precious IP magazine) wouldn't do anything that stupid. I wouldn't bet on it, though.

With respect to the foolishness over "copy protection" it is interesting to consider the possible application of the old line "the worse, the better." [wikipedia.org] The idea is that, in order for a bad situation to change, it must get worse, so that the cost of tolerating it becomes unbearably high. As long as DRM and anti-copy paper, and macrovision and all the others cause relatively limited customer displeasure and support calls, there will be little incentive to change, and things will remain as they are. If you can drive the content guys to ever more intrusive measures, things might actually get bad enough to spur a blowback.

Re:So... (1)

BitZtream (692029) | more than 5 years ago | (#27972711)

Two things, first off, they just use something else to accomplish the same thing. If you can read it, something else can as well. It may not be as fast, it may take some time and money to develop and optimize but that amount of time and money is probably pretty trivial to Google.

Second, Google doesn't care about any book that can do that at this time, they are going after old works currently, that aren't being produced by anyone anyway, so nothing they are going after right now is going to be affected by anything a publisher can do, they simply aren't scanning anything new unless they've worked out a deal some other way, in which case they probably just say 'so why don't you give us the text and save both of us a bunch of effort and time.'

Shhh! Don't Give Them Ideas! (1)

Arccot (1115809) | more than 5 years ago | (#27972735)

If the publishers see this article, the next book I want to read is going to be written in capchas!

The really hard ones without an audio guide!

Re:So... (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 5 years ago | (#27972783)

Would it matter with the 100s of millions of books that are already there they have go to thru first?

Wish i had that at home, would love to scan a lot of my stuff but refuse to cut it.

Patent? Prior Art? (2, Insightful)

mveloso (325617) | more than 5 years ago | (#27972163)

Wasn't this a Sci-Fi movie staple back in the 80s? They used it for body and object scanning, not books...but still.

Re:Patent? Prior Art? (1)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 5 years ago | (#27972203)

Why did they run an OCR on a body scan? :D

Re:Patent? Prior Art? (2, Funny)

SomeJoel (1061138) | more than 5 years ago | (#27972541)

To read the tattoos.

The New Bell Labs? (4, Interesting)

ObsessiveMathsFreak (773371) | more than 5 years ago | (#27972177)

I've read many comments over the years about the old Bell Labs and how a huge amount of pioneering research came out of them over the course of their existance, i.e. before they got axed.

It would seem that Google Labs is performing somewhat the same function, albeit more oriented towards software rather than physical research.

Re:The New Bell Labs? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27972391)

Bell Labs did basic research that most of the time didn't have any current commercial applications and maybe never will.

Google's all have current commercial applications. I don't know of anything they do that is for pure research and to add to humanities knowledge.

Re:The New Bell Labs? (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27972589)

Bell Labs did basic research that most of the time didn't have any current commercial applications and maybe never will.

Google's all have current commercial applications. I don't know of anything they do that is for pure research and to add to humanities knowledge.

Doesn't Google have something called the 20% policy or something like that? Where Google engineers devote 20% of their time to non-Google projects?

Not exactly basic research, but not necessarily commercial applications.

The closure of Bell Labs is one of the tragedies of the 20th century.

progress (1)

emkyooess (1551693) | more than 5 years ago | (#27972191)

And thus, as easily pointed out in the blurb ("would-be competitors..."), this patent will hamper progress.

Re:progress (2, Interesting)

Chyeld (713439) | more than 5 years ago | (#27972427)

Only if Google refused to license it. Google isn't Microsoft or Intel; I doubt they'd go that route.

In fact, since Google has paid for the innovation of this tech, including the R&D for it, patenting it and then allowing companies to license it reduces the barrier since companies that couldn't have paid for the research now have the technique available to them.

Why? (1)

Publikwerks (885730) | more than 5 years ago | (#27972197)

Ok, is it just me, but wouldn't it be easier to just cut the spine off the book instead of developing a whole new way of scanning it? I could understand for old/valuable books, but it seems to me to be a bit of overkill.

Re:Why? (3, Insightful)

vertinox (846076) | more than 5 years ago | (#27972359)

Ok, is it just me, but wouldn't it be easier to just cut the spine off the book instead of developing a whole new way of scanning it?

With 7 million books, the manpower and time saved for them to cut the spine off would be worth it.

Also, they can resell the books if needed or give them charity after they are done.

Kind of would be a waste of a paper to tear that many books apart.

Re:Why? (1)

StikyPad (445176) | more than 5 years ago | (#27972759)

Kind of would be a waste of a paper to tear that many books apart.

Yep, and it would take a lot of spine.

Oh man, I'm like a card catalog of puns today!

Re:Why? (1)

againjj (1132651) | more than 5 years ago | (#27972917)

I am willing to bet that they do that with cheap books (ones they buy), but not with expensive ones (ones they borrow). One certainly can't remove the spines of books in libraries or other collections.

Re:Why? (1)

chill (34294) | more than 5 years ago | (#27972411)

Keep in mind, the majority of the books they are scanning are old, out-of-print and copyright expired texts. They aren't something you can pop over to Amazon and order another one of. So the bulk ARE old and/or valuable.

Re:Why? (1)

moderatorrater (1095745) | more than 5 years ago | (#27972525)

Why use two separate processes for the two categories of book instead of using the same process for both, especially if this process cuts down on manpower and book damage.

Re:Why? (1)

F34nor (321515) | more than 5 years ago | (#27972603)

Read "Rainbow's End" by Vernor Vinge

Re:Why? (2, Insightful)

AndrewNeo (979708) | more than 5 years ago | (#27972659)

I really don't think the libraries that Google was scanning at would have appreciated that too much..

Re:Why? (4, Informative)

ChaosDiscord (4913) | more than 5 years ago | (#27972681)

Google is mostly scanning books borrowed from university libraries. Librarians get cranky if you borrow a book and return a stack of loose sheets of paper.

Re:Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27972903)

Google is mostly scanning books borrowed from university libraries. Librarians get cranky if you borrow a book and return a stack of loose sheets of paper.

Yes. That's why you should always steal books from the library instead!

Mostest importanly... (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27972207)

...who's flipping the pages?

Re:Mostest importanly... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27972445)

That patent comes tomorrow...

Re:Mostest importanly... (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27972481)

I heard from some guy, somewhere, that on weekends the Oompa Loompas do it.

Obvious question... (1)

jwriney (16598) | more than 5 years ago | (#27972209)

That's cool and all that, but who (or what) flips the pages?

--riney

Re:Obvious question... (4, Funny)

Captain Spam (66120) | more than 5 years ago | (#27972323)

That's cool and all that, but who (or what) flips the pages?

Interns.

You laugh, but look at this (5, Interesting)

langelgjm (860756) | more than 5 years ago | (#27972453)

That's modded funny, but take a look at this. [google.com]

Maybe they use automated page turning machines for normal books, and turn pages by hand for older/more fragile works?

Re:You laugh, but look at this (4, Funny)

StikyPad (445176) | more than 5 years ago | (#27972691)

Now THAT'S a page turner.

Ba dum dum. Thanks, I'll be here all week! Try the veal, and don't forget to tip your waitress!

Re:Obvious question... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27972393)

Grad students.

Re:Obvious question... (3, Informative)

ebingo (533762) | more than 5 years ago | (#27972479)

There are scanners that flip pages themselves like this one: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UyB5c3S4vzc&feature=related [youtube.com] but I've seen somewhere (can't remember where though) a video of a scanner that was faster and didn't use vacuum to flip pages. It was quite a lot less noisy.

Who is Hugh Pickens? (0, Offtopic)

QuantumRiff (120817) | more than 5 years ago | (#27972231)

Anyone else wondering lately if anyone else is submitting stories? Or is this guy the next Roland?

Re:Who is Hugh Pickens? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27972295)

Huge Pickens is the brother of Slim Pickens [wikipedia.org]

Unnecessary? (1)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 5 years ago | (#27972247)

Can't you just calculate the 3D model of the page based on a known stuff?

Make a generic flattener filter that takes in page height and length, as well as page number.

Manually tweak the output a bit for the first and last pages, and then intermediary pages can all be calculated with much more accuracy than you need.

Hell, with this method any book "scanned" (using a camera from overhead) could be processed. Let those college kids who love Google so much run their books through your filters (and do the manual tweaks and verification) for you. They won't need anything but a tripod, a camera, and the book.

Re:Unnecessary? (3, Interesting)

MaWeiTao (908546) | more than 5 years ago | (#27972349)

Pages lie different from the front to the back of the book, and books are bound differently. So you can't use a generic model and expect it to be accurate in most cases.

I actually think this is really cool because it seems to account for any scenario, including folded pages, I would assume. Although, I suppose that in extreme bends it might not be perfect, but certainly they just need to ensure that pages are adequately flat. It automates the entire process.

I wonder if they've built an automated page-turning mechanism; I would assume they have. Just drop in a book and let the machine go to town on it.

Re:Unnecessary? (1)

againjj (1132651) | more than 5 years ago | (#27972605)

Another poster [slashdot.org] shows that at least one book has been imaged with hand page turning [google.com] . Two pages of fingers.

Isn't that all known? (2, Insightful)

Toonol (1057698) | more than 5 years ago | (#27972269)

The technique is old, many years old. What is google's patent for? The use of a decades-old technique ON BOOKS?

Re:Isn't that all known? (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 5 years ago | (#27972905)

Cite needed.

You really don't understand what a patent is, do you?
Hint: you don't patent ideas.

Trouble catching up, unless.. (0)

Bellegante (1519683) | more than 5 years ago | (#27972301)

Unless I'm willing to just shred the books, of course. Cut em up, scan the pages individually, a lot less overhead than a 3d scanner.

What are the chances... (4, Interesting)

Shaterri (253660) | more than 5 years ago | (#27972305)

...that Google licenses this to scanner manufacturers and we see this at a consumer level at some point in the future? I know I'd pay good money for a book scanner that doesn't need to have a 'book edge' (which you already have to pay through the nose for)...

Re:What are the chances... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27972781)

...that Google licenses this to scanner manufacturers and we see this at a consumer level at some point in the future? I know I'd pay good money for a book scanner that doesn't need to have a 'book edge' (which you already have to pay through the nose for)...

Not very likely. This type of image processing requires obscene amounts of memory and CPU time to do. It's easy for Google to do with their x86 machines but most scanner/printer company's use non-x86 style hardware because x86 is too power hungry, expensive, and really overpowered for scanning or printing. You might see it show up in high end 10k+ scanners.

Re:What are the chances... (1)

againjj (1132651) | more than 5 years ago | (#27972795)

This is not about the imager per se. It is about the way to take images and post process them afterwords. Basically, they take three pictures, one in visible light and two in infrared, and then use the two in infrared to create a stereoscopic image and correct the image in visible light so it is not warped. From the patent, it does look like the imager is a camera, and not a scanner, since the description talks about a book resting on a platform with cameras above it. I do notice the patent makes no mention as to how the pages are turned. As noted above [slashdot.org] , as least some books' pages are turned by hand.

paper cut? (0, Redundant)

hansamurai (907719) | more than 5 years ago | (#27972307)

But who turns the page?

Re:paper cut? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27972651)

Obviously, they crowdsource it

Re:paper cut? (0, Redundant)

againjj (1132651) | more than 5 years ago | (#27972817)

Another poster [slashdot.org] shows that at least one book has had pages turned by hand [google.com] . Two pages of fingers.

Re:paper cut? (0, Offtopic)

Captain Splendid (673276) | more than 5 years ago | (#27972853)

test post

Already done by snapter (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27972331)

Snapter already does the compensation for curvature:

I lets you use a digital camera to take a picture of an open book with a constant colour behind it.

http://www.snapter.atiz.com/index.php

Butt what about... (2, Funny)

radiumhahn (631215) | more than 5 years ago | (#27972345)

Imagine what this technology could do for coworkers who like to photocopy their butts!

Re:Butt what about... (4, Funny)

DRACO- (175113) | more than 5 years ago | (#27972509)

Is this what the graphics department is talking about bump mapping?

Karma burn.

Here's to you... (1)

jimbudncl (1263912) | more than 5 years ago | (#27972381)

Mr. Google book scanner page flipper guy!

When the rest of humanity vomits reflexively at the thought of turning the pages of 7+ million books, you prevail by showing us that, even if your job sucks, you can take pride in it. Some how.

So here's to you, crack open a cold Bud Light and keep on flippin'.

Why is this a big deal? (4, Insightful)

MBoffin (259181) | more than 5 years ago | (#27972403)

I don't see why this is such a showstopper for other book scanning projects. Right off the top of my head I can think of three methods of dewarping book scans that have nothing do to with Google's methods. While Google's method is definitely quite interesting and seems like a great solution, it is by no means whatsoever the only way of accomplishing this.

Re:Why is this a big deal? (2, Insightful)

BitZtream (692029) | more than 5 years ago | (#27972767)

No one said its a big deal, its simply a 'neat' way to accomplish the goal. As geeks we are generally interested in these neat ideas.

No one said Google was evil for patenting it.

No one said Google now has a monopoly on book scanning.

No one really said anything other than 'this is how they do it' and we all said 'neat'.

YUO fAIL IT?! (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27972475)

and ensjoy all the Us*enet. In 1995, also dead, its everyday...Redefine

cool, but not patent-worthy (3, Insightful)

Chirs (87576) | more than 5 years ago | (#27972495)

This is useful and interesting, but doesn't seem particularly novel.

Projecting a known pattern onto a surface or using multiple cameras to determine the shape of a surface have been around for quite a while, so adding it to an OCR system doesn't seem like a big deal.

Re:cool, but not patent-worthy (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 5 years ago | (#27972935)

Yes it is you clueless N00b.

It's the mechanism and how they do it thats patented, not the idea.

If you patent something that turns widgetrs over, I can still patent something else that turns widgets over, as long as is does it DIFFERENTLY.

Seriously people, it's pretty simple.
Yes the Patent office needs to be tuned, but there is nothing wrong with the patent. In fact, what you seem to suggested would make the system completly unusable.

Idiot.

Attention, Haycekians! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27972641)

"We want our floor space!"
"We want our Library!"
"And most of all, we want our REAL books!"
- Your local Scooch-a-mout belief circle

Actually, Google's non-invasive scanning approach would have prevented the belief circle collision, as it didn't require the shredding of any texts. Not sure how well it would scale to a Library's worth of books, however.

Out of beta yet? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27972667)

I wonder if this will every get out of beta.

As a writer, I did not give my permission to copy (-1, Flamebait)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | more than 5 years ago | (#27972793)

And that makes this "technology" an act of "piracy".

Which makes it a weapon of terrorism.

Patent THAT!

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