Product Review: IRISPen Express 6

IRISPen Express 6
IRISPen Express 6

Today I am reviewing the IRISPen Express 6.  This assistive technology device is a handheld scanner which you can use to highlight text to be entered into an application like a word document.  It promises to save time and be up to 100% accurate.  Let’s try it out!

After installing the IRISPen software onto your computer, all you have to do to get started is plug the device into a USB port and open the application.  Next, you will need to decide where you want your scanned text to go.  I wanted my text to go into a document, so I opened one in Microsoft Word.

One of the first things I did was turn off the beep sound the computer makes every time you finish scanning a line… that gets old fast!  You can do so by clicking on the bell icon labeled “Beep sound” in the application.

By default, the device is set up for scanning regular text in English.  You can change this to a different language or if you wish to scan an image.  You can also specify small print, numbers, and various other options by using the application Wizard.  Once your device has the correct settings for what you’re scanning, press the pen onto the paper and roll it over your text.

I learned right away that this pen takes some practice.  You have to hold it just like you would hold a pencil, at an angle where the tip of the pen lays flat.  If you don’t hold it just right, your pen won’t scan properly and you will end up with a line of jibberish.

I recommend having the Image Quality Check (under Options) open while you scan so you can see how accurately you are scanning. Here is how my scan looked and how it typed:

Result of IRISPen Scan
Result of IRISPen Scan

This took me about four times to scan correctly, but the you can see in the little Image Quality Check box that when I held the pen correctly and concentrated on going in a straight line, it picked up all the words.

The IRISPen also has two buttons that can serve a number of functions, such as Tab and Enter, or Erase Last Scan.

Some things to remember:

  • Roll the pen over your text at a steady rate.
  • The pen will pick up to 12″ of text; it will cut off after that length.
  • The device will NOT pick up content printed in yellow.
  • If you are left-handed, you can scan right to left by changing the settings under the Options menu.

For more information, check out IRIS website.