optical scanner



  • noun a piece of equipment that converts an image into electrical signals which can be stored in and displayed on a computer


  • An optical device which scans a sheet, film, area, scene, or the like, and converts it into data, an electrical image, or another form which enables the original visual information to be stored, processed, transmitted, or reproduced. Also called scanner (2).
  • A device which utilizes a small and intensely bright spot which scans an object, scene, screen, film, or the like, and transforms the original image into a series of electrical signals by focusing it onto a photoelectric cell. The scanning may be mechanical or electrical. Used, for instance, for TV transmission, telecine transfer, or character recognition. Also called scanner (4), light-spot scanner, or flying spot scanner.
  • A computer peripheral which converts the visual information of a paper, film, or the like, and into an image which is stored as binary data, such as a bitmap. Such an image can then be displayed or printed. When used with optical character recognition software, such images can also be processed, allowing, for instance, the characters of printed documents to be converted into electronic text. Also called scanner (6).
  • synonymoptical reader