Interview: Dem@t Factory
What is Dem@t Factory?
Dem@t Factory is a project for the intensive digitalisation of books led by the company Safig in collaboration with Banctech, A2IA, Themis, and the laboratories LIP6, CEDRIC and ESIEE. At Cnam, we are interested first and foremost in the 3D digitalisation of books. We take into account the volume of the book and if it is damaged we recreate it. We also try to conserve the curvature when a book is thick and is open in the middle, not forgetting the characters printed in the crease of the book.
The second part of this project consists of creating an easy-to-use interface for operators who have to check that the digitalisation of the books is accurate. They have to check tens of thousands of pages a day and therefore do not have time to linger over each one. We therefore created several interface possibilities which allow a rapid, precise zoom of several pages whilst retaining a sharp image quality.
How is this project innovative?
The 3D digitalisation part has now no doubt been overtaken by larger-scale industrial projects. The interfaces part, however, is still current. Our concept of the zoomable interface and its use for the thorough monitoring of images is totally new.
How did you use the Fond Unique Interministériel?
The Fond Unique Interministériel allowed us to develop a machine which scans books with stereo photography. A right-hand shot and a left-hand shot allow a 3D image of the open book to be constructed. The FUI also allowed us to employ two post-doctoral students to work on this project.
How has the project progressed since the funding started?
The project has progressed considerably, as we are working on moving technologies. The 3D part, solely for the reconstitution of pages, is widely used today, but we are considering a new augmented reality project. The idea would be to read a book in a library using a machine which combines a 3D camera and a projector. It would therefore be possible to make information (translation, definition, research, etc.) appear directly on the book. For the “interface” part, we are continuing to propose new ways of monitoring for the operators.
Do you have other projects which use your Dem@t Factory work?
We are starting a project funded by the Agence Nationale de la Recherche (National Research Agency – ANR) to study bilingual interfaces for reading digitalised books.
How have you presented your project to the scientific community?
We took part in the “digital stakeholders" forum, during which we presented our monitoring interface. This presentation led to reports of the forum mentioning us in the press. We have also presented the project at two conferences: the European Conference on Digital Libraries in Greece in October 2009 and the Colloque International sur le Document Electronique (International Symposium on Electronic Documents) in Montreal in November 2009.
Dem@t Factory: Pierre-Henri Cubaud, Project Manager, Thomas Feldman, Post-Doctoral student and Rodrigo Almeida, Post-Doctoral student.
Signed off by the Fond Unique Interministériel in December 2008
Base laboratory: Centre d’Etude et De Recherche en Informatique et Communications (Centre for Computer Science and Communications Research and Study - CEDRIC), Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers (National Conservatory of Arts and Crafts - CNAM), the Ecole Nationale Supérieure d’Informatique pour l’Industrie et l’Entreprise (National School of Computer Science for Industry and Business - ENSIIE).
Interview: What are the possible uses for the digitalisation of books?