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Commercial Kodak scanner digitizes, tags old photos

Evan Blass

In much the same way that Coinstar machines have revolutionized the way we deal with accumulated change, Kodak has unveiled a new commercial scanner that promises to batch-digitize stacks of old photos and assign them rudimentary chronological metadata. Introduced on the occasion of the EasyShare line's fifth birthday, the so-called "Scan the World" technology will be incorporated into modified check-scanning machines for initial deployment as stand-alone kiosks or behind the counter at drug stores, which can currently turn your bits into atoms, but not vice versa. According to Kodak, the scanners use software which is able to identify different photographic paper for estimating the decade in which the picture was shot, and can even group pictures featuring like individuals through facial recognition. Future versions of the application will also incorporate OCR capabilities for reading watermarks or handwritten notes on the back of photos, further improving the accuracy of the tagging engine.

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