Scanners are an important part of any home office. Unfortunately, they're not very portable. So, while you might be able to take your computer with you on the road, the scanner has to stay behind. Portable scanners are nothing new, but HoverCam is hoping to give you a portable scanner and then some.
We saw two versions of the device at the Las Vegas Convention Center today, the HoverCam Solo 5 and the HoverCam Mini 5. The latter is a more portable version of the HoverCam Solo 5 and folds down into a fairly pocketable package. We'd argue that you're more likely to shove it into your laptop bag than you pocket (it's still a little on the big side when folded down), but we can't imagine anyone would actually carry it around in their pocket anyway.
The HoverCam doesn't actual scan your documents. Instead it takes a snapshot of whatever you place under its camera and displays it on your screen. Both the Mini 5 and the Solo 5 (above) pack a 5-megapixel camera. The Mini 5 (below) boasts a refresh rate of 20 frames per second when set at 720p and 15 fps when set at 5-megapixels. The Solo 5's refresh rate varies depending on your resolution, offering 15fps at 2592x1944, 2048x1536, and 1600x1200, and 30fps at 800x600. Both come with autofocus and autofocus lock and the Solo 5 actually features 16X digital, 12X mechanical zoom.
So they're good for scanning (up to A3 with the Solo 5), but HoverCam is pushing other aspects of these devices, too. The company rep we spoke with today said that they're also good for recording short videos. As far as who the company is targeting, they say they've sold quite a few to college students who want something with a small footprint that won't take up a lot of space in the dorm.
The HoverCam Mini 5 should be available in Q2 and will retail for a fairly pricey $299. Its beefier brother, the Solo 5, will sell for the same amount when it launches this quarter.