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Scanner – Detail, History, Types, Working, Features, Resolution

The basic principle of a scanner is to analyze an image and reproduce it to a digital one using optical character recognition techniques. In this article, we will learn What is Scanner, History, Types, Working, Features, Resolution, Manufacturer, and Application.


What is Scanner?

Scanner is a hardware device which converts the image or the document into digital information, stored in a computer via Optical Character Recognition (OCR).


Scanners are usually attached to computer system which comes with a scanning software application that let the user resize and modify the image captured.

History of Scanner

In the year 1860, the earliest forms of scanners had appeared. However, in the year 1957, Mr. Russell Kirsch created the scanner that we are familiar with today in United States National Bureau of standards. The first image scanned by this scanner was a picture of Kirsch’s son. The black and white image was measured only 5x5cm and had a resolution of 176×176 pixels.

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Types of Scanners

The new scanners are available in hand held, feed-in and flatbed types and they scan in black and white or only colour. Below are the four types of scanners available that are explained –

Flatbed Scanners

Flatbed Scanners

One of the most common types of scanners that are used. They are called flatbed as the document is placed on a flat surface for the purpose of scanning. They can scan the documents of different sizes and generally they are changeable when compared to sheetfed scanners.

Sheetfed Scanners

Sheetfed Scanners

These scanners are designed to scan the documents fed into the computer once at a time. Scanners comes with automatic document feeders are smaller and portable when compared to flatbed scanners. They are more often used in home offices or in small businesses.

Handheld Scanners

Handheld Scanners

When compared to flatbed scanners, they are portable and smaller. These handheld scanners are particularly designed to scan the documents on the go like newspaper articles or printed photos.

3D Scanners

3D Scanners

They are slightly different from traditional scanners. They collect distance point measurements from a real-world object and then translate to a virtual 3D object.

Types of Other Scanners

  • Card Scanner –It is designed to scan business cards.

Card Scanner

  • Drum Scanner –It rotates the page that is scanned around a drum for faster scanning.

Drum Scanner

  • Pen Scanner –It is a device that is little larger than a pen that the user would write with that and can be dragged over text to scan it into a computer.

Pen Scanner

Working of Scanner

The scanner works by converting the image on the document into digital information which can be stored in a computer via optical character recognition (OCR). This process is managed by a scanning head that uses one or more sensors in order to capture the image as light.

The document in the scanner either moves the physical document or the scanning head, based on the scanner type. Later, the scanner processes the page that is scanned and produces a digital image which can be stored in a computer. Additionally, theScanning Software application allows user to resize or modify the captured image.

How the Scanner is Connected?

In recent times, the scanner is connected to a computer using a USB cable. However, Scanners can be connected to a computer or other devices in various ways, depending on the type of scanner and the available connectivity options. Here are some common methods of connecting a scanner:


USB (Universal Serial Bus)

USBis the most common and widely used method of connecting scanners to computers. Most scanners come with a USB cable that can be connected to a USB port on the computer. USB offers a simple plug-and-play interface, allowing the computer to recognize the scanner automatically.

Wireless Connection

Some modern scanners offer wireless connectivity options such as Wi-Fi or Bluetooth. With wireless connectivity, the scanner can be connected to a computer or mobile device without the need for physical cables. This allows for more flexibility in scanner placement and makes it easier to shareitamong multiple devices on the same network.


Certain high-end scanners, particularly those used in office environments or networked settings, may have an Ethernet port. This allows the scanner to be connected directly to a local area network (LAN), enabling multiple users to access the scanner over the network.

Networked Scanners

Networked scanners are designed to be connected directly to a network without the need for a specific computer connection. They have built-in network interfaces and can be assigned an IP address, making them accessible to multiple users across the network.

Scanner as an Input Device

A computer scanner is a digitizer which is a type of input device. It takes the documents or pictures and converts them to digital information in order to store them by computer. A scanner only sends information to the computer and is unable to receive any information from the computer unlike a printer which is an output device.

Features of Scanner

Below are some of the features of the Scanner explained –



Scanning does only transfer of hard images to digital forms unlike particular forms of data transmission. In scanning, the role of the end-user is always limited. They are not dependent on two-way communication and hence they can help in storing important information or transmitting information.


New scanners are built for efficiency and speed. They can be used easily as well as with all convenience.


For all the digital images resolution, scanner is the best device. Comparatively, fax machines find difficult to reproduce the correct details. However, scanners can reproduce images with high resolution and precisions. They are useful for photography and engineering arenas.

Cost Saving

The conversion of physical files or documents into digital one saves space for storage which in turn saves cost. Along with saving space physically, there are also environmental benefits in using the scanner.

Resolution of Scanner

The number of pixels that is captured by the scanner sensor and is measured in dots per inch (dpi) is referred to as image resolution. The higher the dpi, greater the scanner’s capacity to capture the details.

高分辨率图像扫描仪用于scan the high-resolution printing. However, lower-resolution scanners are sufficient enough to capture high-quality images for computer display. Based on the number of sensors in the scanning head decides the resolution of scanner.

Uses of Scanner

Depending on the needs, the scanner can be adapted to the different uses-



A very common use of scanner is copying. If the user wants to make multiple copies of flyers, posters, worksheets or any similar kind of documents and does not have access to traditional copier, a scanner can be used to create a computer file for the document which can be printed as and when is needed thinking, the computer is hooked up to a printer. Unlike a copier, a scanner provides the option of editing the document before printing the copies.


Another popular use for scanners is digital archiving. It is a process of making and saving digital copies of hard copy documents. These hard copy documents can be anything from personal documentation and tax paper work to family letters and business records. The user having more than one document makes the information much easier to recover in the event where the original documents are either lost, stolen or destroyed.


For the purpose of research, the scanners are used. For any long-term research projects for school or business, will require information to be gathered from various sources. However, if the information contained these resources and wanted to use it later, it can be scanned into your computer and referred at a later date without the need of original book or document.

Sharing Photos

用户可以使用扫描仪共享硬拷贝photos with his family and friends via internet. It allows the user to create digital copies of these photos which can be posted on social networking sites.

有各种类型的扫描仪在可用e market and before purchasing, one must choose the device as per the needs. It is a very useful device with numerous advantages in the technology, administrative, managerial and general procedures must be done at the earliest with quality. Hence, it is essential for the some of areas and activities.

Read Also:Printer – Types and Interfaces, Printer Buying Guide, Best Printers of 2023Wireless Mouse -Types, Buy Guide, Difference in Optical/ Bluetooth Mouse
Chakrasthitha is a B.E (Medical Electronics) and has work experience in MatLab and Lab View Software as Design Engineer at BCS innovations and Manipal hospital as Biomedical Engineer. She is an author, editor and partner at Electricalfundablog.


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