App of the Month: The Prizmo Pocket Scanner

A one-click data capture iPhone app.
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This story appears in the February 2011 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »
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It might be time to stop carrying around all those client business cards. Meet Prizmo ($9.99 at the iTunes App Store), the all-in-pocket scanner that turns data capture into a one-click process.

Prizmo, the brainchild of Creaceed, a small Belgian software development company, allows just about any file or text-based image to be scanned via the onboard iPhone camera. Documents, business cards, receipts--even company whiteboards and presentations--can be captured digitally, and the data in that image is ingested into the software and then processed, edited or otherwise managed.

What makes Prizmo unique in a crowded scanner app market is that with a bit of tinkering, users can control how data is imported into the system. Important business card info like names, addresses and e-mails can be automatically assigned to a given field, while less critical data like fax numbers can be edited out.

"We released Prizmo for Mac in April 2009, and many people requested an iPhone version," says Sandrine Loiseau, marketing and communications manager for Creaceed. "So we tried to develop something different from the other scanning apps available on the App Store."

Prizmo, for all its smarts, is still image recognition technology, which means it has some issues. Image quality can be unstable, so it takes practice to take pictures that Prizmo understands. Regardless, all document data will require at least some editing to be sure what Prizmo thinks is correct really is correct.

Still, the app is a powerful, low-cost scanning option that moves your mobile office one step closer to paperless. 

Edition: July 2017

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