Friday, March 16, 2012

The Potential of Mobile Capture

It's certainly worth noting the capture from mobile devices was probably the most popular topic at the recent Kofax Transform conference. And it wasn't vendor-generated hype that was driving this. No, the end users and resellers at the event couldn't get enough. I attended a presentation by Bruce Orcutt, a product marketing manager for Kofax, and there were way more people than there were seats. Orcutt had recommended I attend the session just so I could see the interest. "I've done [something like 14] product launches since I've been at Kofax and I've never seen anything like this.

There are still some in the industry that have their doubts about the number of real world applications that full-page mobile document capture can fulfill. Aside from weigh bills, we've heard stuff like insurance claims processing, service technicians, and some others. Earlier today we were talking with capture industry veteran Tim Dubes about the new software developments coming out of NovoDynamics where he now works and I mentioned this incredible interest in mobile capture at the Kofax conference.

Dubes was a bit skeptical, citing Cardiff's launch of its Cross Pen Form software some 13 years ago. "Everyone was like, not everybody has a scanner, but pens, they're everywhere, and was all excited about it." Sound familiar? So I went back and looked up my 1999 article on the Cardiff/Cross product.

From the article: "The Cross module, the TELEform Digital Ink Module, is targeted at applications such as insurance claims adjustment, automotive repair, hospital work, and quality control in manufacturing. It’s designed for applications where users need to be mobile, but do not want the inconvenience of working with a
laptop computer." Sounds somewhat familiar.

More: "the main beneficiaries of the Digital Ink Module technology would be users with several remote sites. “This might include an insurance company with several adjusters in remote offices. Instead of having to send their adjustment forms to the main office via courier, using the Digital Ink Module, the forms could be sent electronically."

Anyhow, it's not an apples-to-apples comparison, because with the Cardiff stuff, you still needed a $400 electronic tablet to right on to make this work vs. a free or inexpensive app on your phone. Wi-fi and satellite networks for transmitting remote data were also unheard of at the time, but the use cases are eerily familiar and, according to Dubes, so was initial user interest, before it faded.

I guess we'll see.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hello Everyone. I read the above with high interest. We are the people at piQx Imaging and we just finished development of a camera based portable scanner and was announced in CeBIT 2012. We did get quite some feedback during CES and CeBIT that smartphones may someday replace portable scanners - however, they still face issues with uneven documents, ambient light, shadows and when they need to scan more pages instead of just a single card or document.
Well, I believe someday phones will become scanners. But until then, we hope our scanner can help
those facing problems with their sheet-feeds and phones.

Daniel said...

Interesting article! Mobile is still a fresh platform in the document industry and there needs to be many options for solutions.

Jackie said...

Your mention of the Cardiff solution makes me remember the ReadSoft/Anoto pen solution from 10+ years ago at AIIM. Mobile was a big draw at this year's show, too, but it was iPhones and tablets. A lot has changed.

susane said...

Your blog is beautiful, as beautiful ideas!

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