Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/04/08/android_shelf_stacking/

Android book-scan app tames untidy tomes

Dewey Decimal System sorts your shelves

By Bill Ray

Posted in Phones, 8th April 2011 12:12 GMT

An augmented-reality application can look at a shelf of books and tell you which ones are out of order, for the professional librarian or obsessive compulsive bibliophile.

The books have to be tagged first with a machine-readable label, but once that's done the user can walk down the shelves looking for red crosses in a sea of green ticks, which change to a green tick showing which direction the problem book should be moved in to put the collection back in order.

Augmented Reality Shelves

Attaching all those labels is the obvious problem. The app can't read the often poorly-attached numbers - Dewey Decimal references - that adorn the spines of library books. Instead it requires an entirely new tagging system that can be read with a phone's camera and processed by an Android application.

That might be too much for a library, which will have to judge the cost of labelling every book against the expense incurred by having one in the wrong place; but it won't put off obsessive bibliophiles who know you can't put a price on perfection.

The Chronicle of Higher Education has more details of the application, and some thoughts about how to make it commercially viable, but the following video will probably tell you all you need to know:

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