HP's IdeaLab is HP BookPrep, a print-on-demand service. With BookPrep, consumers can order any book, whether current or out-of-print, and have it prepared for them as a print-ready PDF eMaster file. What's more, the HP technologies used in the imaging process can restore older, damaged copies of books back to their original form.A new service from
Many older, out-of-print books, have, until now, been lost to us. But with BookPrep's use of the technologies available from HP Labs, rare, older books can be restored and read again. BookPrep's imaging process can automatically align and flatten scanned text, fix the skewed lettering that appears at the edge of a book's spine, and clean and brighten the fold and corners of pages. The result is a high-quality replica of the original book as a print-ready PDF file.
The books created with the service can also be customized for yourself or as a gift for someone else.
The pilot program for BookPrep is Foodsville, a community-based site for food and cooking enthusiasts. Here, members can read and purchase cookbooks, even rare, older cookbooks, at the site's online bookstore. The books can be found at the site's free library, where members can search for books by keyword, by author, or browse by tags.
According to Prakash Reddy, system architect of BookPrep at HP, further down the road, BookPrep could help consumers find hard-to-locate items such as newspapers, blog posts, magazines, books, event schedules and special-interest articles.
BookPrep offers a nice complement to the current lot of print-on-demand services (our coverage), as it provides a way for consumers to access rare, out-of-print books as well as modern ones.