Just like Superman who disguises himself as a mild-mannered spectacled newspaper reporter from “The Daily Planet” newspaper, easily blending in with the citizens of Metropolis as Clark Kent, the IRIScan Mouse Wifi in comparison seems to be a typical mouse blended in among an all too overcrowded world of accessories.
Clark Kent may “look” somewhat awkward and unintimidating at times to the people around him, but that is just him masquerading as Superman, just like this seven-ounce IRIScan Mouse does well, acting as an all-in-one scanner and wireless mouse with super powers.
When observing the IRIScan mouse side by side next to a laptop, there is nothing extraordinary about it when comparing other wireless mice. It scrolls, like a mouse, it, clicks like a mouse, and moves every which way just like a typical midsize mouse should. With its standard three mouse buttons and dialing wheel, it’s quite mild-mannered, just like Clark Kent, and it functions quite well for an everyday mouse.
Like Superman’s “x-ray vision”, the IRIScan mouse, has similar super powers and can suddenly transform itself to become a scanner within seconds from the touch of a button. Located on the bottom interior, its glass plate is free to roam and glide anywhere due to its wireless capability. It features a 1,500-dpi optical sensor which can create a scan with a resolution of up to 400 dpi for crisp, sharp documents using Slam Scan Technology, which is designed to allow users to scan documents up to A3 (11.7 x 16.5″) in size in a single bound. This IRIScan mouse has super powers that are “out of this world.
Without the software, this mouse would have no super powers. It’s the IRIScan and CardIris software and the hardware that makes this lithium chargeable mouse mighty unlike no other.
The first thing you need to do is to insert the dongle into the USB port of your computer and then install the IRIScan Mouse Wi-Fi software. Once the software is installed, you will have some very powerful tools that will make it easy to make to convert and edit into different files. By the touch of the button on the top of the mouse, the software loads the program onto your screen and immediately you are ready to scan.
THE SCANNING PROCESS: FREEHAND VS SCANPAD
To test the initial scanning of the IRIScan mouse, I grabbed a few items around the office; a credit card and credit card receipt, a business card, a film festival program, a political campaign mailer measuring 8.5”x11, as well as a CD jacket cover. I even took a bound music book to see if I could copy a page of music without having to crease the spine.
As I was scanning each of these items by hand, I began to realize that I didn’t have a smooth flat surface to work with, making it difficult to get a good initial scan from my documents. In addition, it was a tricky process, as I had to secure the documents using one hand and scan with the other. If the document was larger than my hand, than it would be difficult to get a good scan because of the documents not being securely held down.
As it turned out, I was still able to create perfect scans of the credit card receipt, business card, and CD jacket cover. I also was able to take capture a portion of the the film festival program containing a picture from the movie and the corresponding text description of it. However, I found myself having to rescan or “repaint” the spots that I initially missed. Luckily, they were small enough, so it wasn’t too troublesome.
Larger documents, especially if it contained both text and a photo on them, were more involving and definitely tested my patience, though I finally got the results I needed after several attempts keeping the document flat and still. I managed to scan a whole page of piano music from a bounded book perfectly, but that also took some practice to get to get it right.
As with the 8 ½“x 11” campaign flyer that included a slogan in the picture, I had absolutely no luck in scanning it in successfully. IRIScan even attempted to correct it through its OCR recognition, but as I rescanned the spots I had missed, it ran out of memory before completion of the image. It’s as though I was re-painting over the painted picture over and over without ever getting it just right.
Even with IRIScan’s capability to scan up to A3, it was very difficult to get the output to perfection, even with its OCR capability. My initial impression after freehand scanning was that this was way too much trouble for what it is worth, even for small documents, but that was before I realized that IRIScan included a ScanPad in the packaging.
The 4”x7” ScanPad includes a clear plastic cover that you can use to place over your document before scanning, allowing the mouse to scan over the documents with ease while holding the documents securely. This was the perfect solution making scanning very simple and quick for smaller documents. The ScanPad was a pure “life saver” and was a joy to re-scan all of those documents that I previously did freehand, which was finished in seconds.
I suggest this ScanPad should always be used with the IRIScan mouse scanner.
It even scanned a credit card that wasn’t completely flat because of the numbers protruding, which made the scan a little bumpy. The results were still perfect as it just took two swipes. Impressive indeed.
For larger documents that do not fit in the ScanPad, I was curious to know if a larger size ScanPad would have taken care of this issue had IRIScan included it in their package. If so, I gladly would have paid for the extra cost.
THE CONVERSION, EDIT, AND SHARING PROCESS
Once you have captured what you needed to have scanned with the touch of the button, it will automatically capture it and convert it by straightening it and applying a suggested crop that you can resize. It does a wonderful job allowing you to crop off the excess that you don’t need. Usually there is no need to rotate the document, as well. The software is very intuitive and user friendly during the editing process.
As soon as you are ready to save the editable document, it uses an embedded OCR (Optical Character Recognition) solution that supports well over 130 different languages that will identify text and allow users to easily copy and paste it into their most used applications, such as Microsoft Office, Adobe Acrobat, or even Apple. You can convert your scanned document into a TXT, XLS, or even an PDF, and since OCR is being utilized by the software, you can fully edit your text, whether it’s a Word, Notepad, Excel, or an Acrobat reader document.
Also, if you are scanning business cards, through CardIris, it will convert into digital contacts filling out the regular fields through OCR. Though not 100% perfect, you will still save a massive amount of time, since they are all editable fields. From there, you can save them into your Outlook, Gmail, etc.
If you are scanning a picture, you have your choice of choosing a JPG, TIFF, or even BMP format you can export it as a fully editable PDF or text file compatible with popular text and spreadsheet editors. Once saved, you can also have it backed easily on to your personal cloud hosting service (Dropbox, Evernote, Google Translate.) with just a click. This mouse scanner also lets you share pictures or drawings from your children with friends and families on Facebook and/or Twitter.
This must be one of the most ingenious innovative ideas in quite a while and this mouse has some super powers that no other mouse has ever seen.
While the IRIScan Mouse WiFi may not replace your scanning equipment, it will supplement them by being able to scan documents that would not normally be used by a typical flatbed or feedable scanner, such as pages from bound magazines, books or music scores, due to its bulkiness. It will also make scanning smaller documents much easier and convenient, especially when on the road with your MousePad. However, if you have two-sided scanning to do, I would recommend a portable scanner.
A wonderful selling point of this mouse is its’ mobility features. This will appeal to those who travel for work and who collects many business cards and needs to update his contacts frequently onto his computer, as well as scanning receipts for his expense reports for a timely reimbursement from his employer. If you bring your MousePad with you to scan documents, everything will scan perfectly and it will be much quicker to edit, if needed. No longer will you need to type in text from a document.
If you have items larger than 4”x7”, you may have probably issues with it by not being able to scan perfectly the first time, though it might help to find a a completely smooth non-glare surface such as a clear deskpad that you can put documents under to scan so there wouldn’t be any movement. One of the challenges that I face is that paper moves, and it is difficult for the scanner to “paint” the document. It is best if the documents don’t move and stay as flat on the surface as possible. It also helps if the surface holds the paper down and is on a blank white neutral background.
This is simply not just a regular mouse, but supplemented by its useful software is a powerful all-in-one wireless mighty mouse scanner.
Faster than a speeding bullet, stronger than a locomotive, able to jump tall buildings in A single bound
… It’s a mouse…Its a scanner, It’s “IRIScan Mouse!
Though, I’m not sure why they didn’t provide the IRIScan Mouse with a cape.