With smartphones ubiquitous, companies are adding camera functionality to their apps to take photos or scans of documents, people, checks, identification cards, real estate and whatever else. The majority of apps simply utilize the camera to take a photo which is then uploaded. However customers want a more sophisticated experience that includes features such as cropping, edge detection, editing, filtering, formatting and sharing. Writing that functionality from scratch would take considerable development time, but like everything in IT, there are 3rd party vendors that sell Android and IOS SDKs. Recently we took a look at a few for a project. Here is a quick summary of our assessment and how we chose a solution.
Initial research came up with the following options:
-Genius Scan SDK
-PixelNetica Document Scanning SDK
Open source solutions:
Interestingly most of the commercial offerings were from companies based in Europe. They all release new versions of their software as hardware and operating systems are updated. Also they all still work when the device is offline; so they don’t offer a usage only model. Scanbot SDK was our first choice after our technology assessment; it had all the features we needed. But after further digging we found that pricing started at $23,000/year! They have four different packages and the version we wanted was actually $50,000 per year! This far exceeded the project’s budget. I spoke to Scanbot and they were very helpful but unwilling to offer any discounts. Their target market consists of large companies and enterprise clients. We looked at Klippa which starts at around $5,000 per year, Genius Scan that starts at $4,000/year and Pixelnetica that starts at $3,600 a year. Going into the research, we thought we might be able to find a solution for perhaps $1,000 for a permanent license.
We ruled out Pixelnetica because it would require us to write bridge components to get it to work in our app. We also didn’t feel comfortable going with the unsupported WeScan and OpenScan open source solutions. We ended up choosing Genius Scan SDK over Klippa. It had all the features required and was easy to implement. You also don’t need to pay the yearly fee until the app goes live. Creating a demo app as a proof of concept took only a few hours. To evaluate functionality without any development, one can spend a few dollars and install and experiment with the single user version that they all offer.
Our client tested our POC, approved the functionality and greenlit development.
Contact us if you need help adding camera functionality to your app.