Mark at Boing Boing links to an IEEE Spectrum piece about the research by Masatoshi Ishikawa and his colleagues. More specifically it is about the applications they are developing for an incredible machine vision chip. The Super Vision Chip has been used for other prototypes requiring extreme temporal resolution video, like guiding robotic hands to accomplish astonishing feats of dexterity.
The latest system using the chip is a scanner that can digitize 200 pages in a minute. It was developed by lab members Takashi Nakashima and Yoshihiro Watanabe. Each page is captured lit by a bright light source and a second time with a series of laser lines projected on it. This second capture is critical for undoing the distortions introduced by flipping through the book so quickly. The researchers think they can make the system scan even faster.
The article jokes about Google paying attention to this work, too, but I am thinking it could fuel all manner of digitization, public and private. While this is an unknown amount of time and effort from market availability, it is another point in the trend leading up to regular folks being able to “rip” their own paper books in a manner similar to format shifting CDs and DVDs for greater convenience.