A couple weeks ago, I got a wonderful phone call from a gentleman at DLSG/Image Access, who had read my post about the digitization vendors at the SLA conference in June. In that post, I had mentioned that the BookEye scanner from DLSG/Image Access looked very similar to the Indus 5002C. I had wondered if they were the same machine and he answered that question for me. Both machines are manufactured by Image Access Computer GmbH. Looking at the Image Access Computer GmbH web site, you see Image Access, Inc. listed as a partner, while Indus is not. (That may or may not be a big deal.)
Okay...same hardware sold by two different U.S. companies, so what's the difference? The software. Image Access, Inc. is using the BSCAN software, while Indus uses different software with their machine. Supposedly, the BSCAN software is more friendly. In the walk-up/patron versions of the machines, the way they are physically setup is also different. (Indus is the Indus 5002C TST Walk-Up Kiosk System, while Image Access is the Knowledge Imaging Center.)
Which machine is better? I honest don't know. I have not done a side-by-side comparison of the machines. (If you have, please let me know.) Of course, each company thinks its version -- hardware, software and physical setup is the best. I would also think that each is sold at a different price point. (And we know that cost always factors in.)
I did not ask Indus about the number of machines they have sold, etc., so I don't have that information. The gentleman from Image Access volunteered that their machines was in a growing number of libraries across the U.S. (and the list sounded impressive). Since these machines are likely not cheap, I would think testing them out -- as well as talking to libraries who have them installed -- would be a smart move. And try for a side-by-side comparison if that would be helpful to you.
Technorati tag: Digitization