I’ve been burned enough times that I’m no longer a fan of posting about crowdfunding campaigns, but I’m willing to post about the CZUR Fancy Pro, which is currently seeking funding on Indiegogo because it is different. Not only does the company already offer well-received products, but I have an early sample of the CZUR Fancy Pro in hand, and it impressed me.
Let me begin this post about the CZUR Fancy Pro with a bit of a story.
The pre-production sample arrived some weeks ago, but I haven’t had a chance to test it out extensively due to some health issues. Even so, I was impressed with the design and build quality. (Shout out to the company rep for being so kind, patient and understanding.) the pre-release version of the software launched easily, but I simply wasn’t up to putting it through its paces.
But then I ran into an issue. Out of necessity, I had moved most of my meetings and classes to Zoom and was preparing a class on the weekly Torah (Bible) portion.
I wanted to use some ancient teachings about the text, but the only source I had available was an oversized book. It was too large to place on our printer/scanner, and my high-speed scanners could not scan books.
I tried to use my iPhone camera as a document scanner. It worked, but the scans didn’t look particularly nice.
So I grabbed the CZUR Fancy Pro, connected it to my computer, fired up the software, and minutes later, I had beautiful, crisp electronic copies of the texts I wanted to use.
I was impressed.
As I have learned more about the device, I have realized that not only is the book scanning prowess far more powerful than I realized, but book scanning is only a small portion of what this little gadget offers.
The company describes the CZUR Fancy Pro Visualizer as “the most versatile web camera and scanner in one.” Right there, you get a sense that this isn’t “just a scanner,” but I’m getting ahead of myself.
The device comes fully assembled. A solid, weighted base holds it steady, and the metal arms are light yet solid. The verticle post can be extended if you need to raise the camera, and both the camera head and the arm that holds it can be tilted so you can direct the camera pretty much anywhere you need it.
The cable attached to the CZUR Fancy Pro has a USB-A plug. That is a bit of a bummer, considering it is almost 2023. Still, many people use older computers that don’t have USB-C ports, so I guess it makes sense to ship with USB-A and offer an adapter for newer computers like mine.
With 12 Mega Pixels and the ability to scan with a resolution of up to 330 DPI, the CZUR Fancy Pro is no slouch. Add in Optical Character Recognition (OCR), the easily adjustable height and curve-flattening technology, and you can easily scan a book in minutes.
Here’s what the company has to say.
Using a traditional scanner to scan books is exhausting. Existing machines’ bulky size and price also mean it’s not for everyone. That’s why we set out to create CZUR Fancy Pro. Fancy Pro is the fastest scanner on the market thanks to its auto-focus and auto page-turning detecting. It allows you to scan at an incredible less than one second per page. So you can easily scan an entire 300-page book in 10 minutes or so.
But there’s more.
The CZUR Fancy Pro offers Curve-Flatten Technology that automatically removes the curvatures of pages. That saves a lot of post-scanning time and is reason enough to consider this device! Other features include Smart Paging, Auto-Alignment, Stitching Function, Multi-target Scanning, Remove Fingerprints, Purify Background, and more.
I’m a huge fan of OCR and use it constantly; the OCR built into the CZU Fancy Pro is superb. Not only is it fast and accurate, but it supports over 180 different languages.
Now that is one smart scanner!!
But there is more.
The CZUR Fancy Pro’s adjustable height and tiltable camera head are fantastic for scanning books, but this is much more than just a scanner. The design and software turn it into a Swiss Army knife of computer visualization. So, in addition to scanning books, it can be used as a camera for “micro close-ups” of text or objects, a webcam for online meetings, a general-use camera for live-streaming events, and more.
This additional functionality comes from using the camera with the company’s free visualizer software. As they explain,
This visualizer is like nothing you have ever seen before! It can be a webcam, a document camera, and a scanner! It still has all the awesome functions a scanner has, like Curve-Flatten Technology that flatten the pages automatically for you, OCR that turns pages into editable files, along with auto-alignment, smart paging, auto mending, and multi-target scanning. You can scan an entire book in just minutes.
The company describes two additional use scenarios, stating:
Live Streaming is very popular nowadays, especially when you are a Youtuber or a TikToker, but buying different selfie sticks and phone sticks is such a hassle. CZUR Fancy Pro gets it all done for you! With the adjustable axis and tiltable camera head, you can live stream with multiple angles with ease!
Another one of the unique function of CZUR Fancy Pro is that it also features an online presenting function, allowing you to show your notes or other scanned materials online with ease. So this is perfect for presenting when you are in a video meeting or when you are presenting in a classroom online and offline!
So here are just a few examples of where the CZUR Fancy Pro comes in handy.
There is the aforementioned oversized book that needs to be captured. The scanner makes it a simple process and yields crisp, clean scans.
If you need to scan an entire book without damaging the binding, the automated features let to move quickly from one page scan to the next.
If you need a sharp webcam that includes a built-in light, you can tip the adjustable arm up and lift the camera head so it points at you. From there, it is as simple as selecting the Fancy Pro as the web camera in your webinar software. (You may need to go into the Fancy Pro’s software and rotate the image, but this takes just a few seconds.)
If you use the Fancy Pro as your web camera on a Zoom call and you need to share a document, you can rotate the camera toward the desk surface and show the image without going into awkward Screen Sharing mode.
And, of course, it is a high-quality general-purpose scanner that will make scanning the boxes of pictures and documents I took from my mother’s house when she moved this summer a far easier process than it would have otherwise been.
In other words, this camera-software combination proved a powerful book scanner and a multipurpose webinar/streaming/all-purpose camera that is far better than anything Apple has built into their laptops and even beats the quality of some of the pricier webcams I own.
In short, the CZUR Fancy Pro is a powerful camera that is the perfect accessory for today’s hybrid work environment. I’m impressed, and I’m still discovering what it can do.
Best of all, if you back the CZUR Fancy Pro now, you can get yours for just $149, which is a 50% savings over the eventual retail price.