Scanning Accessory for Smartphones

Hardware and Accessories
This accessory could really help the blind with OCR Apps. This little box turns your smartphone into a scanner



Submitted by alex wallis on Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Hi, this idea sounds potentially interesting, if it was any good I probably would get one, as I have never managed to get any of the scanning apps to work, especially prismo, I don't know if that was down to lighting, or distance from the page, probably a combination. one thing the linked to article does make confusing is when it talks about the magnets. from what the article implies, it suggests the magnets are to actually hold the phone in place on the box. if you read the kick starter page, you will actually find the magnets are to hold the box together, rather than hold the phone to the box. Also, from reading this kick starter page, all this really does is act as a stand for the phone, it doesn't really have any extra electronics in itself. the lights the page talks about need an external battery, as it talks about a wired battery of some kind. You also still need third party OCR apps, I did notice a mention of an app I have never heard of called camscanner which it said can OCR documents, has anyone tried this app? I haven't scene it mentioned anywhere on this site or the viPhone list.

Hi I already watched the video on youtube but the question is: This portable Scanner will work using voiceOver? Scanbox it is the scanner named. just it is a simple music video on youtube. the company can make a video using voiceOver and I am very sure that scanbox will be a exelent scanner for blinds. this is the link on YouTube. Check out this video on YouTube: Sent from my iPhone

hi alex, i didn't find other diferent name about the scanner but thanks for your help, when you or someone else get the brand name please make a post about it.

Submitted by KE7ZUM on Thursday, June 14, 2012

In reply to by MarkSARCH

It sounds like they are trying to reinvent the IPal. That is a nice piece of kit, and if they can make the iPhone in to a portable IPal that would be nice. I'll wait for reviews of this thing before I go out an get one. lol!

Submitted by David Goodwin👨‍🦯 on Friday, June 15, 2012

Member of the AppleVis Editorial Team

I've had an email exchange with the team behind the Scanbox, and they are certainly aware of its potential value to blind users. In fact, they've already met with Vision Australia.

The one potential issue with the current design is that it has markings on the top of the Scanbox to show you where to place your phone. Clearly these are of little use if you can't see them! But, they are aware of this, and are looking at ways to incorporate a physical guide. In the meantime, it would be down to some trial and error, or perhaps getting a sighted person to attach some form of physical guide, such as tape, to the Scanbox.

This could potentially be a very useful accessory, so lets hope that they can incorporate a physical guide into the final production design.

Alex, a fair number of scanning apps are designed primarily to capture image versions of documents, even when there is also an OCR function. Many expect the user to interactively adjust the image as part of the processing. Some apps, like Prizmo and TextGrabber, let you bypass the interactive steps, but others are just not accessible because they expect you to make adjustments to the images based on visual processing. Camscanner has a free version of their app that you can try. This app is not accessible at the point at which you open the app.

Submitted by Chamandeep Singh on Tuesday, April 30, 2013

The product seems to now be available on Does anyone know any more on this and its potential to work in combination with an accessible OCR app, if one exists? I am in email contact, however have not received much information as of yet.

Submitted by MarkSARCH on Tuesday, April 30, 2013

In reply to by Chamandeep Singh

Hi I haven't listened any update about ScanBox But if you see the podcast on this forum about StanScan Sounds that's similar item and possible come from the same company.

Submitted by David Allen on Friday, April 15, 2016

Bought this from Vision Australia earlier this month.

I agree with others that the printed inclusion does not advantage a totally blind person and discussed this with the staff of Vision Australia immediately after receiving the device. That probably explains why I've enjoyed no success using it with KNFB Reader, which was my intention. Someone should write the process of erecting the box, or perhaps describing it through a podcast, but far as I can tell, no one has attempted either as yet.