Replacement for fax right under our noses

Jul 12

How does a technology first invented in 1843 and executed in 1924 still exist as a primary function in our working lives? I’m talking about fax. The fax technology is old and outdated. I personally avoid fax simply because of principle. But my principle alone will not make big changes in adoption. What people don’t understand is that we have a fax replacement right under our noses, one that is both green and as easy to use.

The combination of a document scanner, imaging software, and email software is a complete fax replacement solution. Instead of typing in phone numbers users, can type in email addresses. In fax you double the amount of paper that exists. Paper in, paper out. With the document scanning approach, you are reducing the paper consumption, paper in, email out. Most document scanners today even ship with a pre-configured “Scan to Email” option. On a production level, systems can be setup in offices, your local Kinkos, wherever, to allow multiple users to access the same document scanner and scan to any email with a basic step-by-step wizard.

Not only is fax to email saving trees, it is also increasing efficiency and when combined with workflow, document imaging, OCR, and data capture, it adds much greater value for that single piece of paper.

These systems do in fact exist in small corners of the world, and I have participated in the development and setup of them. The adoption is still very low. What it comes down to is fear of change. People understand paper to paper. Many users of fax don’t even know what email is. There are two ways this can be solved, time and forced adoption. While I would hope for the second which would be a campaign of replacing all fax machines with scanners, it’s very unlikely and requires unity of multiple competing entities.

No I do not like fax, but I understand it. And I hope that sooner rather than later people see there has been a solution to replace fax that is both saving trees, increasing efficiency and has existed for many years.

Chris Riley – About

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Getting used to document scanners

Apr 15

When individuals or companies first get involved in document scanning, the first major lesson is in scanners themselves. In the past when you talked about scanners, the visual was of flatbed photo scanners. More and more, document scanning trumps the volumes of photo scanning, and it is the most common use of scanning. Therefore, document scanners were developed instead of flatbed photo scanners.

The difference between a document scanner and a flatbed scanner are substantial. The first biggest difference is now you are scanning multiple pages, and the pages are placed upright. This increases the efficiency of doing a scan. Documents are placed in a Automatic Document Feeder (ADF). ADF’s hold anywhere from 15 and up pages at a time. The next major difference with a document scanner is the use of dual lamps. Although you can purchase document scanners that have one lamp and can scan only one side of a document, most often scanners will be duplex which means they have two lamps and can scan both sides of the document at the same time.

Document scanning comes with a much larger set of features. Just like a photo scanner you can select resolution, which for document should not be less than 300 DPI and not more than 600. But document scanners also have additional features. The most common of which are features such as auto-rotation of upside down pages, and blank page removal. Blank page removal is especially usefully when always performing duplex scanners so that you can omit any pages that have no content.

There is a wide range of document scanners from the desktop on up to high volume. The prices of each tier desktop, departmental, and production vary substantially. They will all demonstrate the basic functionality of document scanning, but as you move up the tiers more and more functionality is added, as well as capacity and speed.

I can’t imagine not having a document scanner now, as I use it daily, and I believe that in the not so distant future it will be the same with most home office to office environments.

Chris Riley – About

Find much more about document technologies at