March 29, 2014 7:17 pm JST

Fujitsu aims to digitize China's ancient texts

TOKYO -- Fujitsu plans to parlay its scanning expertise into archive preservation, with an eye on digitizing China's estimated 2.5 million ancient documents.

     Fujitsu is currently working with the provincial government of Shanxi to develop technology for encoding and storing ancient writings without damaging them. The province's public library in Xian has a collection of about 300,000 ancient documents. Fujitsu aims to win a contract for archive digitization from local authorities within fiscal 2014.

     Xian, once known as Changan, long served as the capital of many of China's ancient dynasties. 

     Fujitsu is working to release a noncontact scanner by summer. Ordinary scanners must press down hard on a document to read the text, which can easily damage old, fragile paper.

     Fujitsu's technology is also designed to scan text from curved surfaces and automatically correct it into readable form. This allows antique documents to be scanned without being opened flat and possibly damaged. The company will also use digital-processing software to automatically eliminate the images of any fingers holding the documents.