Abu Dhabi: With the release of products such as Amazon's Kindle and Apple's Ipad, it seems that going digital is the way to go for the publishing industry. That was demonstrated to interested passers-by by representatives from Omni Turnkey Solutions, a UAE based software company at the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair 2010.

"The book scanner, which is from an Austrian company called Qidenus Technologies, is a fully automated scanner equipped with robotic arms and two digital cameras that scan the pages of the book. The raw information is then run through the software which converts it into several files, such as PDF," Ehjaz Afzal, IT Manager, said. "What is unique about this product is that the technology for book scanning is fairly new and only approximately five companies in the world specialise in creating these machines," he added.

Many entities, including schools and universities have begun to use such products in the last ten years because of their reliability and low risk of data loss. In Abu Dhabi, the Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage has purchased one to store data from their library.

"The images scanned can not only be converted to PDF but also to Flash and even in formats that can be viewed on mobile phones... if stored properly, the information can ‘live' up to 300 or even 400 years," Elias Khoury, Managing Director, said.