The basic principle of a scanner
Scanners have become an important part of the home office over the last few years. Scanner technology is everywhere and used in many ways:
- Flatbed scanners, also called desktop scanners, are the most versatile and commonly used scanners. In fact, this article will focus on the technology as it relates to flatbed scanners.
- Sheet-fed scanners are similar to flatbed scanners except the document is moved and the scan head is immobile. A sheet-fed scanner looks a lot like a small portable printer.
- Handheld scanners use the same basic technology as a flatbed scanner, but rely on the user to move them instead of a motorized belt. This type of scanner typically does not provide good image quality. However, it can be useful for quickly capturing text.
- Drum scanners are used by the publishing industry to capture incredibly detailed images. They use a technology called a photomultiplier tube (PMT). In PMT, the document to be scanned is mounted on a glass cylinder. At the center of the cylinder is a sensor that splits light bounced from the document into three beams. Each beam is sent through a color filter into a photomultiplier tube where the light is changed into an electrical signal.
The basic principle of a scanner is to analyze an image and process it in some way. Image and text capture (optical character recognition or OCR) allow you to save information to a file on your computer. You can then alter or enhance the image, print it out or use it on your Web page.
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