I was excited to read the title for Matt Garners’s talk in the schedule for the BYU Family History Technology Workshop. He’s from FindMyPast.com. His presentation focused on an inexpensive automated scanning system that would allow an individual to sponsor the digitization of an entire role of microfilm that they wanted to be able to search online. Here’s his abstract:
Hundreds of millions of pages of microfilmed historical documents are not being digitized at this time due to insufficient individual demand to garner appropriate commercial attention and investment. This paper demonstrates that the cost of digitisation and online delivery can be lowered dramatically using a novel application of recent technological advancements in imaging, data processing and storage. A business model is presented such that an on-demand service can be provided whereby an individual end user can afford to personally sponsor the digitisation and online delivery of an entire reel of film.
Understandably, I perceived this idea through the lens of our own startup. In effect, what we do is allow individuals to obtain low-cost, on-demand digitization and online delivery of individual documents — even if those documents haven’t yet been microfilmed. I’m grateful to Matt for giving me a new perspective on Genlighten’s value proposition. And for his work to develop an extremely cool scanner… in his garage!