What if you could create your own augmented reality?
Well... maybe this app doesn't do that exactly, but still, pretty close.
Today's tech-tool is arguably one of my favourite apps in my collection— easily top 5. I've wanted to share it for so long and I'm excited to finally do so.
By the way, unrelated, but the GIF above is an actual thing. It's called Magic Leap; I wrote about it in my blog (back when I had time for it). It was supposed to be the next big thing in augmented reality (think Pokemon GO, but for everything).
Unfortunately, it tanked. After receiving billions in investments (valued at ~$6 billion in 2019), they dropped to half a billion a year later. Fingers crossed we'll see a comeback. Until then, let's get into today's tech-letter (valued at $56 billion, don't fact check me on this).
Scan Thing 🐙
Scan Thing, as the name suggests, is a scanning tool; or at least, has been inspired by scanning tools.
Several months ago I shared an easy way to to scan your documents using your phone, using your Notes app (iOS) and Google Drive app (Android), as opposed to buying actual scanner, or paying for a simple scanning app. Today's app takes that a step further.
Only available to iOS and iPadOS for now, Scan Thing lets you capture objects from the real world and transfer them to the real real world (a.k.a. online). Take a look at how it works.
You know the drill— there are 3 images below, click to view each.
In this example, I've scanned my ukulele. I start by putting my object (ukulele) within the frame, and just tapping anywhere on the screen to capture it.
#2, the capture. Scan Thing converted my physical object into a digital one. It automatically even removed all background content for me. Now, I can use this digital copy of my ukulele for whatever I want (social media, Photoshop, wallpapers).
#3, the final product. P.S. you'll note two of the tuners (on the top) didn't make the final cut. This was mostly because of the lighting in my room + the similarity in colour between them and the carpet... but that being said, voilà!
This was just one example of many. Scan Thing lets you scan objects, people, animals, plants, art, food... virtually anything. But there's more.
Let me quickly go through the options on the bottom.
The first item is an actual scanner, i.e. you can use this app to scan documents and save/export them. This would actually replace that tech-letter I mentioned at the beginning (using your Notes app to scan documents).
The second item is a text-extractor, my second favourite feature of the app. For those that remember OwlOCR, Scan Thing does the same but on your phone. Aim your camera towards books, images, Wi-Fi passwords, nutrition labels (anything, basically) and this app will let you extract the text. Here's an example with my hand sanitiser.
Aim, capture, and Scan Thing recognises all of the text on this tiny bottle, is able to exclude images, and now gives me the option to copy the text. Beautiful.
All your scans can be saved to your phone as images, shared via Airdrop/text, or even exported as a sticker to share on your Instagram story!
The fourth item (to the right of "Objects") lets you open up your photo library and choose an image. Why? Say you want to use Scan Thing to scan an object from a photo that you took in the past— here's where you'd do that. Create digital copies of digital memories (wow).
And last, but not least. the folder icon lets you view all the documents you have stored in your iCloud.
I hope you now see why I was so excited to share this tech-tool, and hope it falls under your top #5 too.
Scan Thing is a scanning app that goes beyond simple document scanners, by letting you digitise real-world objects. This is an iOS and iPadOS only app (for now) that comes with 15 free scans (mostly, for you to try-and-test until you're ready to decide whether to purchase this or not).
Scan Thing offers one price-point of $4.99 (for life), which includes unlimited object scans, document scans, text scans, and more. There aren't any subscriptions, and you don't even have to sign up to make an account. Plus, every scan is stored securely on your phone and there are never any ads. Win-win!