Okay – I have tried so hard to resist writing this post but I just can’t hold out. I….must….talk….about…..Scanbox. Or as I like to call it, Scambox. It is one of those inventions that has you (okay, really me) rolling your eyes and saying, “Seriously??? People are paying for that?” Well, yes they are and I think what irks me most is that I didn’t come up with the “Scambox” first.
In case you haven’t seen it yet, Scanbox is the brainchild of an Australian trio of app creators who figured out that if you create a pop up cardboard box and pitch it as a scanner, people will not just believe you but also send you money. They have essentially created a stage for your paperwork. Your iPhone can then be placed on top in the absolutely perfect position to best scan/photograph your item. It’s that simple.
If you want fancy you can pay a few bucks extra for the battery operated LED lights to enhance your cardboard box experience. Nathan Hurst over at Wired.com sums up the invention in a recent article with this catchy title: “Kickstarter of the Week: A Portable Scanner for Smartphones”
So why you ask is this über simple idea driving me bonkers? Do I have cardboard box issues? Nope, I don’t think so. It’s the sales pitch.
I watched the Scanbox video over at Kickstarter.com, a fantastic website that hosts a grass-roots fundraising bonanza for all things cool, new, and wacky. Nothing says rockin’ Saturday night like a bunch of friends hunched over a laptop watching startup pitches but yes, that is how we pass the time over at my place. Kickstarter is like Shark Tank but for regular folks. We’re in it for the power. But I digress…..
The Scanbox video pitch starts rolling and I immediately realize that I need to slap my companions. They are oohing and ahhing over all the great things that this box can do. Look, it’s a photocopier. Look, you can scan images. Wow! You can do power point presentations with the Scanbox. At this point I found myself shouting (yes, I really was), “IT’S JUST A PIECE OF CARDBOARD!!! THE PHONE DOES THE WORK! THIS IS NOT A SCANNER! IT’S JUST A BOX PEOPLE!”
Alas it was too late. Not even my not so pretty recreation of the Scanbox using a flashlight and beer box (don’t judge) could convince them. It was at that moment that I realized – these Australian’s were brilliant and damn it, I will most likely be finding a Scanbox in my holiday stocking this year.
So, when you find yourself heading over to Kickstarter to watch this video – come on, you know you will in five seconds – and then whipping out some plastic to order one, I beg you to keep this thought in mind: IT’S JUST CARDBOARD – IT IS NOT A SCANNER. Don’t make me slap you too.