06/21/2012 12:58 pm ET

Scanbox Turns iPhones Into Portable Scanners

Few have illustrated the agony of owning a printer quite like Matthew Inman did in his comic titled “Why I Believe Printers Were Sent From Hell To Make Us Miserable." The endless software updates, the expensive ink, the untimely paper jams -- all of it combines to create a terrible experience.

But a few inventors, determined to liberate your scanner from its clunky printing counterpart, have created the Scanbox, a portable scanner for your iPhone.

Designed by Phil Bosua, Ben Hillier, and Luke Allen of Melbourne, Australia, the Scanbox looks like a flimsy piece of junk, but might actually offer a practical solution to scanning woes. Functioning like a tripod, the trapezoid-shaped box holds your phone steady while it snaps photos. It's made from laminated cardstock, which makes it easy to fold and store in a file cabinet or backpack.

Scanbox's creators have imagined it as a useful device for digitizing receipts, scanning photos or documents, photocopying, scanning 3D objects and even making presentations. The upgraded Scanbox+ offers LED lights for even lighting, ensuring that shaky hands and sub-par composition won’t totally ruin amateur scanning.

The group has exceeded their $12,500 goal on Kickstarter with over $138,000 raised, and 16 days left of fundraising on their page. Pledging $15 will get you a Scanbox, but the truly adventurous might want to just take a few pieces of paper and try to create the thing on their own.

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