Turn an iPhone into a just-works document scanner–for pennies

Delightful in its simplicity, Cincinnati designer Kyle A Koch's iPhone document-shooting rig cost pennies to build and could be easily modified to hold any similar device.
When I got my iPhone last year I loved having everything important in one place, and the ability to get rid of unneccesary devices, documents and information i kept with me. I would frequently snap photos of class assignments printed on copy paper so I wouldn’t have to worry about losing them. The documents normally came out pretty clear, but it was tough to keep still while taking the pictures. I set out to make something that would ensure clean, consistent pictures of documents taken with the iPhone that would be free and easy to make on your own. And so, here you will find pictures of and a link to a template to make your own iPhone document scanner.
The patterns and a gallery are on the Core77 boards: it should be easy to use wood or plastic instead, for something more permanent. Forum post [Core77 via Make]

About Rob Beschizza

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7 Responses to Turn an iPhone into a just-works document scanner–for pennies

  1. Secret_Life_of_Plants says:

    That photo is a little blurry. I think Koch needs to build a cardboard iphone stand from which to take a picture of his cardboard ipod stand.

  2. Anonymous says:

    So, wow, more iphone crap. I’m pretty sure phones have had cameras for a while. Many even have document modes for the cameras.

  3. Tensegrity says:

    could be easily modified to hold any similar device

    you mean like any digital camera?

    sorry, but it seems like this person had never heard of a digital camera before the magical iPhone came wafting down from heaven

  4. SamF says:

    “and the ability to get rid of unneccesary devices”

    You mean like cardboard iPhone scanner stand thingies?

  5. airship says:

    They used to sell something similar for the Commodore Amiga. A product called Digi-View could scan photos in color using a black and white CCTV security camera and a Christmas tree color wheel. Problem was, you had to shoot three separate shots that were identical. Hence the stand setup. You’d shoot separate red, green, and blue shots, and the Amiga software would mix them together into a nice high-quality color photo. Remember, this was back in the day before digital cameras, when color video cameras cost a small fortune. The results were surprisingly sharp and colorful.

    Read more about the Digi-View here:


  6. musicalwoods says:

    Neat, simplistic idea! I have a scanner, though, and I much prefer it.

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