Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Scanning Documents to Box (in the cloud) with a Fujitsu ScanSnap N1800

Several months ago a friend at Fujitsu gave me a brief demo of the new Fujitsu ScanSnap N1800 network-attached color document scanner.  As a gadget nut, I was completely drawn to the sleek design and "iPad-like" touchscreen interface. The N1800 is a network-attached device, meaning it does not need a desktop PC to drive the device.  It connects directly to your network with an Ethernet connection.  The scanner has the scanning software baked right into the device and uses a touchscreen for user interaction.  Think of it more as a more powerful, miniaturized Multi-Function Peripheral (or MFP). The general intention of a scanner like this is to be able to scan directly to a network drive or a Microsoft SharePoint site.  The scanner also can be configured to, scan-to-email, scan-to-fax service, and scan-to-FTP, all with the software bundled with the scanner out-of-the-box.  

After that initial demo, my mind started to crank on the potential this little device actually has as a "Cloud-Connected Scanner." I was interested in seeing how I could scan documents directly to a cloud service like or  So, I created the graphic at the top of this post to share my idea with a few people.  A few months later I was given the opportunity to bring an N1800 into my personal lab to do some testing and prototyping.  The video below is the first result of my time with the device.  

I am really pleased with this first test.  It took some configuration to get things just right, but this prototype was done without coding with the SDK or the Box API.  It is certainly limited, but does well to prove the initial point.  I am now working on building a true custom app for scanning to Box using their API and the N1800 SDK.  If you are interesting in this project or want to talk more about the N1800 please leave a comment below, or feel free to reach out to me directly on Twitter: wahiggins3