And now the demo of your web app generates a mailing list of potential future customers along the way. Smart.
[Q:] It does funny stuff to my other pictures (not drawings).
[A:] Yes, yes it does. :)
However the idea behind the service, whiteboard cleanup via email, is pretty sound. I would love to have this with features that allow me to send the pic along with list of 'end product' recipients.
Need some https secured site as well for sensitive whiteboard snaps.
As far as forwarding, how would you like that to work? Configure on the site? Put them in the Subject line? To keep down on spam I'd have to require an account for that kind of feature.
Thanks for trying it out.
I'm not sure what libs you're using for image processing, but OpenCV has a lot of this type of functionality.
Something less human-readable might be easier to handle (e.g. print out something analogous to a bar code and stick that anywhere on the whiteboard). Tie that bar code to a list of recipients and you're set.
The only observable problem was some image artifacting where the original showed reflections of overhead fluorescent lights.
Here is my before and after for comparison:
Here are the before and after photos: http://imgur.com/wPgl8&G80Lz
I agree with some of the comments. The noise around the edge of the whiteboard can be distracting. OCR would be a nice touch if you can get it to work as well.
Another thing that could be useful is automatic cropping so that the picture contains more content and less empty space. Maybe have an option to divide the picture into individual photos if there's enough whitespace? That way you could have separate photos for separate diagrams.
It would be nice if it could detect the edges of the whiteboard and crop. As Goosey mentioned, perspective correction would be nice as well.
Love the idea as an email service, and look forward to seeing what comes next.
Thanks for all of this great feedback!
Your 4 step instructions have doodle@, but the actual mailto: is for wb@. It's a minor thing, but you should be consistent.
Cool idea. I think you could run pretty far with a posterous style lazy signup and more options (like the dropbox idea, some storage, etc.) Maybe support group emails, so dev@ when sent from my email address returns a response to a certain 5 people.
I have no idea how important blackboard is - probably less so for the business world, but plenty of students use/encounter them.
If it's easy to work out a algorithm that cleans up the blackboard but harder to work out detecting the blackboard, your idea of two email addresses (doodle/wb@, and blackboard/bb@) would probably be a good solution.
Don't know how feasible this is, and you've got a lot of room to grow in your current segment already, but would be neat to see where else this could be applied to!
Other than that, I agree with some of the suggestions below. Cleaning up the display is probably 90% of what I want, so this is great. One note- I entered some text in the subject line; it would be nice if this got preserved somewhere to make searching my email easier.
My only advice is to make the instructions clearer. It's quite a simple idea "send a whiteboard photo to XYZ, get a clean version back" but I had to go to a second page, scroll down quite a bit, then click a few other pages to find out exactly what happens when I send a photo. I might be dimmer than the average customer though.
Customers don't need to know how easy (or hard) something is... some classmates of mine are now enjoying a trip to South Africa (to see the World Cup alongside head coach Óscar Tabárez) thanks to some clever marketing... they made a video indexing software (the indexing is totally manual) and marketed it as a solution for soccer trainers.
The actual code was much easier than our own project, but it was visually nice and it was brilliantly marketed. I'm probably going to blog about this if some of you are interested :)
You probably know this, there's http://www.scanr.com/ that tackles a similar problem.
My suggestion to you is to keep running with your idea of making your service dead simple to use. I love the idea of just sending it to an email address -- reminds me of posterous, but for image processing.
I sent a 640x411 image and got back a 800x514
Also an area of solid black turned into cyan and magenta. (The image I tried was http://i42.tinypic.com/169lppj.jpg - and yes I know it's not a whiteboard, but it looks like one.)
It would be interesting to see this combined with a project management system. I imagine being able to snap your whiteboard, have the image cleaned, and placed right onto a project wiki, in one move (similar to Posterous, perhaps).
Thanks for the feedback.
p.s. that's a springpad link, awesome to just share those stuff from your phone
we started as a group of about 20 or so comp sci students, taking joint notes in google wave for 2 semesters now.. it works great except if there are alot of diagrams.. and ascii diagrams just take too long and dont do the original justice. so we started adding pictures..
i am excited to have a tool to clean them up now =)
ps anyone else doing this joint notes thing? if not you should try it.. it works wonders for studying for tests
What kind of assurances would you like? If I implement accounts, would you be comfortable with storage? Would you want to be able to choose on a per-picture basis?
Thanks for taking a look.
Lots of idea's get thrown up on whiteboards where I work, but the boss man is a little paranoid. In order to become a regular user I would need to know that nothing I email over is being kept.
I understand the insecurities of email in general, but there's a difference between available for the duration of the email transmission and available for days after the email has been sent.
Thanks for being responsive.
For all of the security measures that can be taken with sending data to web applications, "never sending it at all" is very secure indeed, and in some arenas, the inconvenience may be worth it.
They almost certainly would not use the web version, unless they could run it 100% internally on their intranet.
Thanks for checking it out!
PS: If you've got one of those old fashioned iPhings, check out JotNot which does this sort of thing on the phone.