question about standscan vs giraffe reader

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Hi all, I have a question about the standscan vs the giraffe reader.
My question is quite simple, has anyone had experiences of both stands? and are there pros and cons to each?
I bought my stand scan when they first came out and everyone was raving about them.
However, I never had great success with it, it helped a little but wasn't wow amazing.
I tried it with knfb reader today and found that the stand made me get worse results than when I didn't use it.
So, really my question is what are the differences apart from shape between stand scan and giraffe reader, and are there advantages and disadvantages to both or do they generally work equally as well as each other to assist with levelling and pointing the camera for text recognition.



Submitted by Sam Jewell on Sunday, September 21, 2014

Thanks Alex for the questions, and thanks to a certain Mr DM for showing me this post. I make and sell the Giraffe Reader, so I'll try to help.

Firstly I've made an audio-described video showing how to assemble and use the Giraffe Reader - if you can get through 8 mins of my audio-description, then you'll have a good idea of what the Giraffe Reader is like. Link to the video here:

There's a few reasons you might choose the Giraffe over the StandScan:
The Giraffe has been designed for blind people from the start, so it is as easy as possible to assemble eyes-free. The first time you are learning to use it it might take 20 minutes to figure out and learn (that's without any sighted help) and after that it can be assembled in only 10 seconds each time you use it. It also provides tactile edges to hold the iPhone in place, so there's no messing around trying to line the camera up with the hole in the top of the StandScan.
It folds up smaller (although a little thicker) than the StandScan, so it is more portable and easier to take with you to a cafe or restaurant, library or office. When folded it's about 20cm long, 20cm wide, and 1cm thick, and fits into a cardboard-backed A4 envelope for easy delivery through a letterbox (I think the StandScan also posts well).
It's made of durable and waterproof Polypropylene Plastic, so it should survive better than a cardboard StandScan, particularly when being carried in a handbag or rucksack. It's a corrugated plastic structure, so it's much like corrugated cardboard in its 'look and feel'. This corrugated structure makes it very strong and light, while the plastic material makes it long lasting.
The Giraffe Reader doesn't have it's own light source - it doesn't need one as it's thin neck means that plenty of ambient light reaches the document you are scanning. The StandScan in contrast has the document in a box, so without the light source the document would be in the dark. Having said this, one of my customers did a like for like comparison of scanning quality, using Prizmo, and found that the StandScan gave her marginally better results due to the light source - I have found that I get excellent results even so with the Giraffe Reader, as long as I switch the lights on, or open the curtains. My customer said that she felt they were complimentary products - she uses the StandScan at home, and leaves it in it's erect configuration, while she keeps the Giraffe Reader with her in her handbag for use out of the house.
But to wrap up, the biggest advantage of the Giraffe is it's durability and ease of use - that's what my customers tell me.

Submitted by Daveed Mandell on Monday, September 22, 2014

The Giraffe Reader sounds excellent. With which Apple devices does it work well? Will it work with large phones, such as the new 6 and 6 Plus?

Submitted by alex wallis on Monday, September 22, 2014

Hi, thanks for your excellent post Sam, it certainly gave plenty to think about. With the advent of the KNFB reader I think the need for a stand to assist with levelling the phone has been lessened, however I think stands probably still have a place especially when scanning multi page documents or books, as obviously you can't hold a phone for hours on end. Thanks for the video link that was informative.

Submitted by Edward Alonzo on Monday, September 22, 2014

I currently own a stand scan pro, but this giraffe stand sounds really cool I have had pretty good results using KNFB reader with my stand scan pro but I would liek something a little more durable to cary with me and this giraffe stand sounds like its very much more stable. what is the cost of this stand? I own the stand scan pro which ofcourse, has the lights. my 9-volt adaptor was broken whe I got it and I wasn't ever able to get a new one. I tried contacting the company but they never got back with me and I do believe that it came from somewhere in china anyway lol.

Submitted by Dave on Monday, September 29, 2014

I have a version of the StandScan box I got from Kickstarter. Although it is meant to be portable, after you have had it set up for awhile, the pieces don't want to flatten out very well.

I also purchased an Articulating Video Stand from iPevo.
It's meant for teachers, I think, but I have found it useful.

Also, I've used the ScanJig which works with iPads or other devices as well as the iPhone. The results with Prizmo were very good. The ScanJig comes apart easily and can be transported or stored in its shipping box. I'm sighted, so I can't say how difficult it is to assemble if you are blind. For scanning 8 1/2 x 11 pages, the ScanJig is excellent.

Submitted by Deborah Armstrong on Friday, December 11, 2015

Got my Giraffe reader yesterday, an early Xmas gift. My sighted husband could not figure out how to assemble it; I had no trouble when following the clearly described video on the manufacturer's site. Remember to lay it face-down to fold it flat to stow it away. Because it's thin, handle it with care. Because it's thin it travels well. Seems durable if you take care of it.
Got superb results with Prizmo, much better than I've ever achieved holding the phone freehand. Also had great luck with Text Detective. Don't own KNFB reader, and didn't have good results with the free OCR apps, at least yet.
However, a small caution; it's for European A4 paper size, not American 8.5 X 11. It's a bit smaller than an American typewritten page. Seems like that's not a problem with most books and other pieces of print you need to identify, but it has bumpers which prevent you from placing a large page (such as a restaurant menu) completely flat in the phone's field of view.
If you really need good OCR, you are better off with a scanner, or Perl or similar camera. But for quickly identifying and reading stuff while traveling, or in meetings or in class, this is a keeper.