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CardScan 600c

Editor's Choice

COLOR CardScan Executive (600c/V6)
Includes the new CardScan 600c color scanner and new Version 6 Software. Connects through USB port.
CardScan uses Optical Character Recognition (OCR) and its patented AccuCard Technology to read and sort the information on your business cards into an electronic address book.

Scans Cards with Optical Character Recognition
CardScan auto-senses that a business card is in the scanner tray and initiates scanning. Using Optical Character Recognition (OCR), the CardScan Software reads the letters and symbols on the card.

Organizes Data with AccuCard Technology
Then, using CardScan's powerful AccuCard Technology, the software identifies what the information on the card represents. Is it a name, a title, a fax number or an e-mail address? AccuCard enables CardScan to correctly parse and sort the card's data into the correct fields.

AccuCard is what tells the software that John Hancock Mutual Life is not a person named "John", but is instead the company that this person represents. Once AccuCard has sorted the data - a process that takes only a second - all the scanned and sorted information from the contact is deposited into an electronic Rolodex-style database.

CardScan's AccuCard Technology not only reads U.S. and Canadian cards, but it also accurately reads cards in many languages. With software that's smarter than ever, CardScan now reads cards from the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Sweden, Belgium and Australia. The software recognizes international names, titles, phone numbers, email addresses and URLs, and then organizes them into the correct fields of an electronic address book. 

CardScan easily consolidates contact info....

Perhaps it was the traditional unreliability of optical character recognition software.

Or a series of frustrating episodes with flatbed scanners, which, until very recently, tended to ship with gawky software and require installation acrobatics. (Only the most masochistic of PC hobbyists enjoy mucking around with the likes of SCSI cards and cables, which in addition to being expensive always tended to be inanely short.)

For years, I shied away from a product that's about as natural for business today as, well, the typing pool of yore. Now I wonder how I ever did without a business card scanner. That pile of old cards I never got around to filing after my card folio filled up a year ago? Yes, now it's scanned. The CardScan 600c by Corex Technologies, which connects to the computer with a USB cable, promises 97% accuracy. It scored about 90% in my unscientific test of 10 cards.

What makes the answering machine-sized product so indispensable is the intelligence of the accompanying software, built around a Rolodex motif, and its rich features. Hence I wasn't much bothered when 'Utah' became 'UT84o67' in the scanning of one business card. The other seven lines came out clean and a few keyboard strokes restored 'Utah.' The CardScan software has gone to finishing school, it seems, learning not just how to recognize characters but also common naming and addressing conventions. On top of that, it just learned to read French and German. Version 6 of the software supports those languages in addition to English. Corex's technology works by parsing cards' contact information into the appropriate fields with uncanny accuracy even if the words are scattered unconventionally on a card.

After scanning, an image of each card is also saved. If both sides of the card have data, images of both sides are recorded. The scanning can be done in batches; the individual cards drop into a detachable card catcher. A batch can then be processed, and one option allows the card data to be assigned to a single category in the CardScan software's built-in personal information manager. The CardScan software synchronizes with 17 of the most popular packages including Microsoft Outlook. ACT!, GoldMine, Lotus Organizer and Lotus Notes and the Palm Desktop.

The program also synchronizes with handheld computers running the Palm operating system, Windows CE and its successor, Pocket PC, as well as Psion palmtops and the IBM Workpad. A nifty button on the desktop also lets you transfer single card by single card to an open PIM, a nice touch exemplifying the healthy evolution of a product whose first version appeared six years ago. There's only one big drawback in this product that is sure to please efficiency experts everywhere: It is bound to encourage conformity.

Now CardScan keeps your contacts up-to-date.

With CardScan's NEW AccuCard Service
 you'll never have the wrong number again.

How can a computer read business cards?




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