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Bits & Bytes
TURNING A SCANNER INTO A SPEED-READER
It seems that computers are everywhere these days. Even so, less than 1% of the world's information is stored in them. About 95% remains on paper, and 4% is on microfilm or magnetic tape. Optical scanners can "read" pages into computers, but they've been too slow and inaccurate to be widely used.
Infinite Images International Inc. in Vienna, Va., says its new Parallax system, running software from Calera Recognition Systems Inc. in Santa Clara, Calif., can read and index more than 1,000 pages an hour. That's about 10 times as fast as most current systems can operate. The breakthrough: The system uses multiple processors to scan more quickly and accurately. The company claims that Parallax cuts the cost of scanning a page from about 50~ to just a few pennies. The new system costs from $80,000 to $750,000, depending on the number of processors in the computer.EDITED BY DEIDRE A. DEPKE