Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Smart Phones as Document Scanners for E-Filing

DIY iPhone Document Scanner

We received a question the other day about how to facilitate document/evidence E-filing?  And we first wrote about the use of smartphones for document capture back in 2014.  But after reviewing the article, it is time for an update.


Before we get started, we must ask the question. Why hasn’t someone combined a court E-filing system with a smartphone document capture app?  (Or, maybe we just haven’t heard about it?) There are plenty of apps available; as will be listed below.  It seems straightforward?  But we digress.
Most people do not have a document paper scanner readily available.  But many to have smartphones.  We I need to digitize a document I use the Microsoft Office Lens app with my iPhone camera that turns the picture into a PDF and I e-mail it to myself for later use.  I could also save it in OneDrive for filing or later download. 

Many believe that a scanner is a barrier to full adoption and use of E-filing.  But with the smartphones, this barrier is significantly lowered.  This past February, PC Magazine did a compilation of “The Best Mobile Scanning Apps of 2018”.  The article differentiates between “heavy, frequent” scanning workload that can benefit from a dedicated scanner’s page feeder mechanism and resolution.  But for “casual scans” or for objects that can’t be passed through a paper feeder, a smartphone can do the trick.

The apps listed in the article are:

Now I must admit that I am bad at holding my mobile phone over documents.  Although the apps straighten the image, it still takes time to align the phone and snap the photo.  This is where yes, our old court filing friend, cardboard helps!

Here is list the premade ones that I found online.  But as you can see from the picture above, one can make such a holder/stand themselves. Some options are:

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