Making a difference – Scanners

Visioneer created the modern desktop scanner in the mid-1990s, and OEMed it to HP, Canon and Brother. From fussy, SCSI-connected proprietary devices they’ve evolved to one-button, USB or Firewire units with full operating system support. The 1992 development of a standard driver interface, known as TWAIN, went a long way toward driving the adoption of scanners by consumers.

In 2000, Microsoft’s WIA (Windows Image Acquisition) was introduced, allowing graphics software to communicate with imaging hardware under Windows. Over the years, vendors have experimented with various scanner form factors, many of which failed. In addition, as the world has gone more digital there have been fewer pictures and documents to scan, so the desktop market is shrinking.

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