One hacker with too much time on his hands has built a one-of-a-kind book scanner out of a Lego Mindstorms kit, a Kindle, and a Macbook. And yes, it does look as strange as the components list makes it sounds:
This scanner combines a script running on the Mindstorm with a second script running on the Macbook. The Mindstorm is responsible for turning the page on the Kindle and then pressing the space bar on the Macbook.
That triggers the script running on the Macbook to take a photo with the webcam and then automatically forward the photo to an online OCR service, which then converts the text on the screen of the Kindle to a text file and then sends it back to the hacker. By the time the project has run its course it will have copied the DRMed ebook into a text file (or collection of files).
This scanner is the work of Peter Purgathofer, and there was a reason I called it a Rube Goldberg machine. It’s pretty easy these days to strip the DRM from an ebook, so this project doesn’t really have much of a purpose beyond finding a new and more convoluted way to bypass DRM.
But I like Rube Goldberg machines. so it’s still pretty cool.