Accessory of the Week Building a document scanner into a mouse is one of those odd notions that seems daft at first but makes sense when you actually think about it.
A mouse is something you always have on your desk, and decent scanning tech is now small enough, kind of, to be crammed within. Why clutter up your desk with a flatbed or a bulky multifunction printer when you can simply run your mouse over the page you want to digitise?
That's how LG's LSM-100 works - and it works well. Tap a button on the left side of the mouse and you flip it into scan mode, which also fires up LG's Windows-only software.
Scanning a page is just a matter of moving the mouse over it until you've got it all. The mouse can only scan a small, 320dpi area at a time, but it scans continuously and the software stitches all the grabs together in real time.
Scanning 'paints' the overall picture in real time
As you move the LSM-100 over the page, the combined image builds up on the screen. Move too quickly for the image-stitching software and the normally black background fades to grey to tell you.
Get the mouse back to the part of the page over which the software lost track of it - this takes a wee bit of practice to get right - and scanning will proceed as before.
When you've got your image, you can save it or convert it to text
When you've got what you want, press the Scan button again and you can lassoo a smaller part of the picture if you've scanned a larger area than you need. You can directly rotate it too - the software pops up a grid to help you. You can't select multiple areas and nor can you paint out text you don't want.
All done, you can save the scan, copy it to the clipboard, or have the built-on optical character recognition (OCR) software convert it to text. Again, it did rather a good job, though it's not smart enough to cope with more than one column. This is OCR for casual use not professional document digitisation.
As a mouse, the LSM-100 is less successful. It's too big really - small-handed users will find it uncomfortable to use regularly. Size aside, it doesn't compromise mouse functionality in any way. But if you only need to scan documents occasionally, I'd suggest keeping an ordinary mouse handy for day-to-day use. ®
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