Introduced in 2018 and released for general availability last year, Amazon describes Textract as a "service that automatically extracts text and data from scanned documents." What more could you ask for with a document scanner? There are different flavors of Textract, from full-page OCR and layout recognition, to forms extraction, to table extraction. Here is a link to an article I did on Textract in 2019, and here's a link to Amazon's Textract site. Did I mention Textract is cheap?
One drawback to Textract, which we have discussed, is that unless a user specifically requests that their images are deleted, Amazon basically reserves the right to utilize them going forward to improve Textract, as well as "other Amazon machine-learning/artificial-intelligence technologies." That can be a non-starter for some, but adoption of the bundled service would be optional or a vendor could limit the bundling of AWS OCR services to single SKU.
So, if I am a scanner vendor, why wouldn't I look at including a year's worth of Textract services with the purchase of the scanner from the Amazon marketplace? Maybe the issue is that Textract is more of an AWS/B2B play than a B2C play like you get more commonly with the Amazon marketplace. But, for a vendor selling their scanners to the SOHO market, maybe there's a fit. And I'm not sure if Amazon works like this, but could you think of a better way to get good positioning with the world's largest e-tailer than supporting one of their up and coming AWS services initiatives, which are a major growth area for Amazon?
So, my proposition is for a scanner vendor to create a SKU, probably for some type of scanner with a network connection, that offers a free year of Textract Services. Amazon already offers a three-month free tier of Textract, so introducing some sort of trial with a scanner would not be that much of a stretch for them. If anyone does take advantage of this idea, if you'd just give me credit, I'd appreciate it.