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2004 World Technology Awards Winners & Finalists

Kirtas Technologies, Inc.

Please describe the work that you are doing that you consider to be the most innovative and of the greatest likely long-term significance.

Our lives are currently profoundly affected by one of the most powerful and global trends of our time: Digitization. Unfortunately, when it comes to content, often the least valuable material (to put it kindly) is finding its way to the Internet, while the bulk of human knowledge is being left behind. Unless we quickly and massively move this human legacy from “books to bytes”, the best of what we have to offer will be, for all intensive purposes, lost to the future generations of our society. This vision is truly the very heart of why Kirtas Technologies was born.

The resulting solution, the APT BookScan 1200, was developed by Kirtas. The BookScan provides a quick, efficient, reliable, and cost-effective solution to scanning bound documents. Through the BookScan, whole books can now be digitized with virtually no labor and without disbinding at an incredible rate of 1,200 pages per hour! This is a radical change, equating to as much as a 10X improvement in throughput and 80% in cost reduction!

Kirtas and growing number of others view the APT BookScan 1200 as revolutionary technology that will change the way people access, share, and use knowledge and information that typically remained stuck on a library shelf! This powerful solution is considered “disruptive” as it is positioned to make a profound impact on the World as a whole, reminiscent of the 1st copy machines, printers, and PCs!

Globally, we are moving into the “knowledge economy” where knowledge is readily becoming our most important asset. The BookScan offers a unique way of facilitating a change in the way people access and use this information. As a direct result of the BookScan and other exciting technological advances such as digital paper and decreasing storage costs combined with an increasing number of Internet proficient people, a paradigm shift will naturally occur. Whole books can now be stored providing access to content and on-line translation capabilities. All of this massive knowledge could then be accessed through a user friendly environment, the World Wide Web.

The potential influence touches many individuals, corporations, and government agencies. The scope of the impact could include capabilities such as: first time accessibility to books by kids in 3rd World countries, cross-referencing of military documents to protect our country, sharing of medical journals to develop new cures, preservation of the content of “one of a kind” books, instant access to a multitude of manuals to improve manufacturing efficiencies, cross-referencing for legal cases, conversion of books for the handicapped to alternate output modes such as audio, Braille, oversized print, etc . . . the list goes on. Even more extraordinary is what we can not predict – things that will likely emerge out of mass access to this knowledge!

Further information about Kirtas Technologies, Inc. and the APT BookScan 1200 is available at www.kirtas-tech.com along with a video demo of the scanner in motion at www.kirtas-tech.com/demo.htm .