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New Epson scanner converts photos from old shoe boxes to the cloud in seconds


Epson wants to help take old photos from a shoebox in the attic to a cloud-backed digital file — on Tuesday, August 7, Epson launched the FastFoto FF-680W scanner. Epson claims the FF-680W is the fastest scanner in the personal photo scanner category, while Wi-Fi allows for auto-backups and sharing using Dropbox and Google Drive.

The Epson FastFoto FF-680W, the second-generation scanner in the FastFoto series alongside the FastFoto FF-640, can scan at up to one image a second while maintaining a 300 dpi quality, the company says. The scanner uses batch capabilities to further push performance, allowing users to stack up to 36 images to feed through the scanner. The scanner can fit panoramic images up to 36 inches as well as smaller images, postcards, instant film, and documents up to 8.5 inches wide.

With built-in Wi-Fi, Epson added an Easy Auto-Upload tool, which allows the scanned images to connect to a selected cloud service, including Dropbox and Google Drive. USB connectivity is also available. For old photos with notes on the back, the scanner can scan both sides at once.

The scanner also includes software with text recognition to make documents such as receipts and tax documents searchable. The program allows the scans to be edited, organized, and shared as PDFs, or Word or Excel files.

“Epson recognized the need for a fast and easy scanning solution that enables people to digitize photos held captive in shoeboxes and albums stored away in closets and attics, and vulnerable to natural disasters, fires, and floods,” David Hawkes, scanner product manager for Epson America Inc., said in a press release. “FastFoto unlocked a new market with the introduction of the FastFoto in 2016, making it affordable and feasible to preserve a family’s legacy. The new FastFoto FF-680W incorporates feedback from customers with a host of new features, making it easier to bring memories of yesterday back to life using the latest digital technology.”

That speed and connectivity put the Epson FastFoto at a higher price than slower models, however, though it still sells for $50 less than the original list price of the previous generation. The scanner retails for about $600 starting today through select retailers.

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