Scanbox: Turn Your iPhone Into A Portable Scanner!


A new Kickstarter Project wants to turn your iPhone into a portable scanner!

The device is called “Scanbox” and it’s a portable scanning box that uses your iPhone camera to take high quality scans. The particularly neat feature of Scanbox is due to the material it is made of, the box can easily pack down flat and fit into a bag. Scanbox is designed to fit photos and documents up to a maximum of US Letter and A4 paper size:

The Dimensions of Scanbox when set up:

  • Height: 12.2 inches (310 mm)
  • Width: 12.2 inches (310 mm)
  • Depth: 9.05 inches (230 mm)

The Dimensions of Scanbox when packed down:

  • Height: 0.19 inches (5 mm)
  • Width: 12.2 inches (310 mm)
  • Depth: 9.05 inches (230 mm)

While the iPhone alone has some great apps for taking scans, Scanbox ensures that your scans are perfect and with the right lighting. However Scanbox also has a few other uses:

  • Digitize your receipts
  • Live projector for presentations
  • Optimized for face recognition when you scan photos
  • Scans 3D objects
  • Scan a page from a book
  • Turns your phone into a photocopier

If Scanbox is intriguing to you, the purchased package comes with a ready-to-use Scanbox with all magnets, stickers, and instructions. However there is another item called “Scanbox+” which additionally includes a set of LED lights for even better lighting. The Scanbox is also available in five different colors.

At this time, the project has over 1,400 backers with over $41,000 of support (the goal was $12,500!).


  • This seems like a great product, but i’m a bit confused as to the need of the box.  If you look at ScannerPro it does the same thing and more:
    I’m not seeing the big advantage of this vs. ScannerPro, except that I have to carry one more thing.

  • Ari

    Why do you consider this to be a competitor to that product? An app will not position or level your iPhone or iPad to the correct height or provide the right amount of reflected light for a good copy. If anything, it could be used to compliment it although the only real advantage I see from that app is the organization or scans.

    Are you affiliated with that app or something?

  • Ari, in NO WAY am I affiliated with them, I’ve tested a lot of apps and ScannerPro is one of the best on the market, but isn’t perfect either (stated as a user & consumer). Here are a few points why I said what I said, while also addressing your points:

    1. Image Quality & Auto Focus
    – Auto focus available on most phones today
    – Average of a 5 megapixel camera
    – As for the right high, 2ft to 3ft will provide a great scan along with the auto focus.

    2. Getting the right angle
    – Does require some practice & Scanbox would help / make it easier
    – But You’d figure out the right angle after about 4 shots.
    – App developers could also add a level indicator to eliminate the need for Scanbox
    – Level indicator would further reduce the need for Scanbox & cut into its sales

    3. Getting the Right Light
    – Most mobile devices/phones have flash build into them these days
    – While mobile devices with flash don’t’ have great flash, they aren’t bad either
    – Scanbox does let light in, but no different then the amount of light without its use
    – Scanbox also doesn’t provide an external lights to even light inside the box
    – Unlike a photographer’s “light box” which does have external lights
    – Taken the above into consideration, Scanbox doesn’t offer much in this area.
    – It faces the same challenges & limitations as not using Scanbox
    – As for Scanbox+’s LED lights, that would provide more then just a flash!
    – Lets not forget that ScannerPro does offer image adjustment options to make corrections as needed

    4. Flat Surface
    – We might not always have the surface to setup the Scanbox on it.
    – Surface might not always be flat as well.
    – In either of the above cases, you’d risk the mobile device sliding off the top of Scanbox
    – This wouldn’t affect hand holding the mobile device used to scan

    5. Easy of Use- Both ScannerPro & Scanbox are easy to use
    – No really challenge here, both mobile device & Scanbox are small enough to carry

    All that said, the only application I can see where Scanbox would provide a HUGE VALUE, is when trying to scan multipage letter size (or greater) document.In such cases, Scanbox would maintain the consistency of the angle of each picture taken as it’s far more accurate then hand holding the mobile device.Lastly, there are tons of apps out there that not only help organize, but also PDF and create expense reports in one simple step without requiring any extra accessories.

    My comment on this accessory is that while it offers some great value to a inche consumer group, like many other great products, it will sell for a short period, and then stop selling, as it’s not as convenient to use, and can easily be replaced by the end user with a bit of practice and repetition.

  • Bbb

    SCAN=TAKING A PICTURE with your iPhone.