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BlinkScan: Instantly capture hi-res images that are cropped, de-skewed with background automatically removed, at the press of a button.

Finalist in Engadget's InsertCoin2 Competition in NY Nov 10 2013
Finalist in Engadget's InsertCoin2 Competition in NY Nov 10 2013

Engadget's Insert Coin Finalist!

BlinkScan instantly captures high-resolution documents and objects at the press of a button. For the BlinkScan, that’s the easy stuff!  With the simple push of a button you get exactly the image you want in as little as 3 seconds. 

 Keep reading! You may save hours of photo editing time -

                            Background Removal

BlinkScan's Perfect Image Capture delivers all the image and none of the background!

This feature changes everything! The BlinkScan is smart enough to know which pixels belong to your object and which ones belong to the background, even within the object. 

Use your own background or none at all.
Use your own background or none at all.

How many hours would it take to trim the back ground from inside this frame? This was completed in 5 seconds with the BlinkScan.

Perfect Image Capture technology automates background removal every time you push the button. Image files are instantly ready to use in your application. 

                                AutoCropping

Eliminate the need to post process your scanned photos. Every image is extracted and perfectly cropped with no visible background.

Works for multiple items.
Works for multiple items.

 The BlinkScan is smart.  It finds and crops each object regardless of position. 

                                    DeSkew

There is no need to align the objects with a reference edge.  Perfect Image Capture automatically corrects the skew of all objects being captured.

All objects are automatically de-skewed.
All objects are automatically de-skewed.

Images are ready to use without additional editing!

                            Multiple Objects

Perfect Image Capture saves you even more time by processing multiple objects in one capture.  Each image is captured as a separate file, ready to use. 

Takes the same time as capturing one item.
Takes the same time as capturing one item.

"47 Coins" Video - See how the BlinkScan takes 47 coins, captures each in high-resolution, auto-crops, and saves them into 47 individual image files in as little as 5 seconds.

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                                  Image Quality

Perfect Color Capture takes 3 individual monochrome images in red, green, and blue, combining them so that every pixel sees every color.  This captures 3x the information, giving you more resolution, color fidelity and dynamic range than conventional systems. 

The hardware and software work in calibrated harmony to deliver images that are high clarity, evenly illuminated, color corrected, and free of optical distortions, glare, and color fringing. 

Shooting images through glass is not a problem for BlinkScan!

Comparison images of frame with glass
Comparison images of frame with glass

Shooting an image through glass with no glare is a challenging problem. Ever try using a flash to capture an image through a glass window? The BlinkScan design solves this problem; you can now capture photos without taking them out of the frame.  

                       Product Development

The BlinkScan is not an off the shelf product! This capture system is custom designed from hardware to software and the result of 3 years of development.

Camera

The lens and sensor used in the camera were custom designed for this application. The 10Mpix monochrome sensor was modified from an off the shelf color sensor. The lens was custom designed from the ground up to meet our needs for clarity, working distance and low distortions. 

Image Processing

A custom image pipeline was developed to accommodate the many unique algorithms required to output a perfect image every time! Thousands of hours of programming went into developing and optimizing the on-board firmware and software. 

Illumination

Picking out the red, green, and blue LEDs was the easy part.  Producing a glare-freedesign with an acceptable light distribution was the challenging part.  Hundreds of hours of simulations and testing were required to get this right. 

Background Removal

Our patent pending background removal methods are unmatched, a feature not found in any other device on the market. 

We have developed three generations of working prototypes, two of which were demonstrated at Engadget's Expand NY - BlinkScan was selected as one of the Top 5 Finalists in the Insert Coin Competition. 

                 Professionals and Enthusiasts

 The image capture automation is what  graphic artists and enthusiasts have been dreaming about – a way to automatically and instantly capture all of the image and leave the background behind.

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We see applications in graphic arts, museums, collectors, online retailers, the list goes on and on ….. but the real joy will be seeing what new and creative things people are going to do with the BlinkScan.

                               Technical Specifications 

Height: 350mm (13.78")             Width: 380mm (15.0")

Depth: 279.4mm (11.0")             Weight : 9 lbs

Scanning Element type: 10Mpix Monochrome CMOS area sensor

Light Source: RGB LED 

Scan Speed:

(< 2 secs) Black-and-White/Grayscale - 300ppi - document 

(< 3 secs) Full Color letter size document - 300ppi compressed jpeg

(< 5 secs) Full color object - TIFF/PNG segmented and background removal.

(< 5 secs) Full Color multiple objects - TIFF/PNG segmented and background removal.

Files:

File format outputs: PNG, TIFF, BMP, JPEG 

Color Depth: 36bit                         Optical resolution: 300dpi 

Max Document Size: 216mm(8.5") x 297mm(11.69") 

Software Specification

TWAIN, BlinkScan Application Software, 

Special requests contact BlinkScan support 

Hardware Specification

Power Requirement: 24V 2amp external power supply (Supply included) Power consumption: Off mode: <0.35watts, Sleep Mode: <4Watts; Running Mode: <10watts (subject to change prior to production)

Compatibility Operating systems supported: Windows 7 and up (32-bit and 64-bit), Linux Ubuntu 12.04, Mac OS X

Ports: USB 2.0 (cable Included) 

                                    Our Production Capabilities 

Blink Technologies has partnered with a US company for the production and assembly of the BlinkScan units. Early manufacturing involvement in engineering reviews, design critiques, and supplier selection have reduced production risks and assure a smooth startup.

Image taken at our manufacturing partner's location.
Image taken at our manufacturing partner's location.

                             Why We Need Your Help

It’s time to get BlinkScan units into the hands of some of the most creative people in the world, people who will find new applications and inspire amazing features that will make the BlinkScan even better.

We have the right team to succeed and we need your help to build the tooling and start production.  

What's Done

- 3 generations of fully functional  prototypes are complete

- Electrical, mechanical, and environmental testing is complete on critical components

- 2nd generation Electrical and Mechanical design reviews 

- Quotes and sourcing completed for critical components

- First generation manufacturing review with production partner

- Beta level software and firmware testing for full function

- Quotes for all tooled parts

What's Next

- UL and IEC certifications

- Final tooling review prior to cutting steel

- Finalize manufacturing drawings and specifications for production

- Packaging and media design

- Twain driver and BlinkScan application software

Production Schedule

- Issue tooling purchase orders (4 weeks after funding)

- First article units are assembled (15 weeks after funding)

- First Production Verification units are assembled (26 weeks after funding)

- Shipment of first product (27 weeks after funding)

                                           The Team

We’ve put together a passionate team of motivated and talented people. 

Don Skaggs is the founder of Blink Technologies.  He's been working in the science and technical industries for over 20 years, developing new technologies and successfully bringing them to market. 

Steve McFadden is the Chief Operations Officer of Blink.  He has over 30 years experience with electronics manufacturers in product development, quality assurance and working with manufacturing partners.      

We also have experts in optics, electronics, mechanical design, software, firmware, and marketing who are part of the Blink team.

  See their profiles here. 

Kickstarter backers have the opportunity to get a BlinkScan before the rest of the world.  If you are a professional, that could mean a competitive advantage!  With your support, you will receive one of the very first BlinkScans at a very special price.

Thank you!  We look forward to your support! 

Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

While fulfillment is a challenge with any successful campaign, we are prepared to meet that challenge head-on. These potential challenges include:

ENGINEERING

Chief Operations Officer, Steve McFadden, has over 30 years experience working with electronics manufacturing partners and hardware start-ups. We have already developed and built 3 generations of fully-functional prototypes, incorporating customer feedback into each iteration. Only the final design review is needed before we begin actual manufacturing.

ELECTRONICS MANUFACTURING AND LOGISTICS

The main difficulty in manufacturing electronics is sourcing quality components and ensuring ~quality at each step of manufacturing. We have partnered with an experienced manufacturer in the USA to do supplier sourcing, electronics manufacturing and box building for these units in a state-of-the-art facility. This company has an over 40 year proven track record for on-time delivery and a quality control program second to none.

TEAM


Unforeseen setbacks can occur in the best of operations, but the Blink team is adept at addressing issues if they arise and experienced in developing solid recovery plans. This experienced team includes mechanical engineers, software engineers, electronics engineers, as well as seasoned business veterans. We believe that open communication and frequent updates with our supporters is critical for customer satisfaction.

FAQ

  • The present bed size is 216mm (8.5”) x 297mm (11.69”). Our first product offering is sized to handle document scanning that is English letter and metric A4 size. The technology is very scalable and we plan to explore sizes larger and smaller in the future.

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  • Yes, our first offering has a hinged glass panel that covers the full document area. We will post some pictures of this on the Kickstarter site. The BlinkScan is designed to be able to capture images through the glass panel and it does not cause glare or reflections.

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  • Our present offering has a fixed true resolution of 300 ppi. This is a function of the sensor, and the maximum bed size. We are evaluating different resolutions and bed sizes for future products.

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  • Yes you can! There is a limit to how thick the book can be and result in an acceptable image. At the present time there is not a function to flatten the pages into the binding however, the text will be very readable all the way into the binding.

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  • If you can fit it under the camera you can scan it, however, there are two limiting factors. The closer you get to the camera the more out of focus it will become. An object will be in excellent focus for at least the first 30mm. The other limit is the possibility of producing shadows within the object. This can vary greatly with shape. Tall objects should be placed as close to the center of the scan area as possible to minimize unwanted shadows.

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  • The BlinkScan is not intended to be a 3D device; however it provides a very good 2D image of 3D items within the focal depth.

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  • At this time, the camera is fixed in position and there are no mechanical adjustments available to the user.

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  • There is no requirement for ambient light; in fact less ambient could be better. The Blinkscan provides the necessary light in the RGB flash and compensates for ambient.

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  • The Blinkscan will be supplied with a suitable power adaptor for the international backers; CE and UL certification.

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  • The BlinkScan application software will provide some tools for simple editing such as rotate, contrast, brightness and hue.

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  • We are presently working how this can be accomplished, it is our desire to be able to provide upgrades after you receive your unit.

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  • Each BlinkScan unit is calibrated at the factory to remove optical distortions. This is done for each color plane and is accurate down to one tenth of a pixel. This is also corrects for color aberrations of the lens.

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  • No, the focusing and illumination optics are custom designed to meet requirements for clarity, distortion, color aberrations, focal distance and field of view.

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  • Depending on the size, shape, and placement of a shiny metal object specular reflections can occur. We have had a lot of success eliminating the reflection just by moving or reorienting the object.

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  • We have tested this with real stacks of our own personal photos. In our test, we did several stacks of 4X6 photos. We placed 2 on the scan bed at a time, we scanned about 120 photos every 10 minutes. This can vary by operator from 100 to 130. Smaller photos are even faster since you can put more of them on the bed at a time.

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  • Unless otherwise specified, all taxes and duties are to be paid by the backer.

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  • Unless otherwise specified, the BlinkScan comes with a 1 year limited warranty that covers manufacturing defects. Backer pays shipping one-way.

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    A BIG VIRTUAL THANKS from the whole team at Blink, a shout-out to you via our website, plus updates from the project as we get closer to our goal. (Great for anyone who just wants to help us win!)

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    We will send you a digital file of one of the first complex targets ever captured with a BlinkScan, de-skewed and with the background automatically removed, of course. It's a great way to show your support, plus you'll own a copy of BlinkScan history!

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    Let everyone know you've shown your support and be one of the first to own a Blink TEAM T-SHIRT with the official Blink color logo, plus the acknowledgement: "I've been Blinked! BlinkScan's Kickstarter 2013". Limited Edition, only available via Kickstarter. (US Shipping included. Please add $15 for international shipping)

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    We will send you a LIMITED EDITION 1G USB drive with the Official Blink Logo to store all those great digital images you're going to capture with the BlinkScan! (US Shipping included. Please indicate size via email. Please add $15 for international shipping)

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    EARLY BIRD SPECIAL: Get a BlinkScan at a very special price. (Add $25 for US shipping and $50 for international shipping)

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    22 backers Limited (178 left of 200)

    EARLY BIRD SPECIAL, SNOOZE BUTTON EDITION: Get a BlinkScan, still at a very remarkable price. In addition, you'll receive a Blink flash drive for storing your scans, and an extended 5-year warranty. (Add $25 for US shipping)

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    EARLY ADOPTER/PERSONALIZED: A BlinkScan at our special introductory Kickstarter price. In addition, you'll receive a Blink flash drive for storing your scans, a custom-made dust cover to protect your BlinkScan, plus a personalized laser-engraved message. (Add $25 for US shipping. Tax and duties paid separately.)

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    COLLECTOR'S BLINKSCAN: A BlinkScan signed (with laser engraving!) by the entire BlinkScan team!! (Add $25 for US shipping. Tax and duties paid separately.)

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    SERIALIZED FIRST RUN: Be the owner of one of the first 50 BlinkScans. Each device will have a serial number showing it was one of the first 50 units in our very first run. A true early adopter! (Add $25 for US shipping. Tax and duties paid separately.)

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    BLINKSCAN: A BlinkScan unit, ahead of our website sales for delivery! (Add $25 for US shipping. Tax and duties paid separately.)

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    PICK OUR BRAINS! You get a face-to-face video conference with the founders, for a combined 50 years of experience and knowhow of bringing a product from an idea on a napkin to the manufacturing assembly line. Plus a Special Edition BlinkScan signed by the team! (BlinkScan delivered ~ July 2014. Add $25 for US shipping. Tax and duties paid separately.)

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    DEVELOPERS KIT WITH EARLY DELIVERY: Blink is offering a Developers Kit that will include documentation and reference code for you to integrate a BlinkScan into your project. You will also receive a near production level prototype 6 weeks after the close of a successful campaign. The unit will be fully functional and calibrated. This will be available for either a Linux or Windows operating systems. The unit is guaranteed functional on arrival but is sold as is with no warranty. There are a limited number of these early units available. (Add $50 for US shipping. Taxes and duties are paid separately by the backer)

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    CASTLE POST WITH THE FOUNDERS: Come to a private dinner with the BlinkScan team at the Castle Post (yes, an authentic medieval-style castle!) in Versailles KY, near where the first BlinkScan was created, and a Special Edition BlinkScan signed by the team! An experience like no other! (Estimated delivery may vary based on weather. BlinkScan delivered ~ July 2014. Travel not included.)

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Funding period

- (38 days)