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Google is launching its ‘Stack’ app for Android, an AI-based scanner that also names and categorises the documents it scans.
The Stack app is a result of collaborative work between Area 120, Google’s in-house incubator and the DocAI team in Google Cloud, and the technologies from Google’s acquisition of the education start up ‘Socratic’.
How It Works
When users take a photo of a document, the Stack app scans it, automatically names it, and suggests the right category or “stack,” to store it in.
Stack is also able to identify important information in documents (e.g. the “due date” or “total amount due”) and pull that out to make the document easier to find and access, plus users can search through the full text of documents (not just the title) to quickly find what is needed.
When it comes to (secure) storage, Stack uses advanced security and sign-in technology to protect the documents in the app and a face or fingerprint scan can be added as an extra layer to unlock the app. Copies of documents can also be automatically saved to Google Drive which means that they are still accessible should a user decide to stop using Stack.
The benefits of using Stack are that it provides a fast, easy, handy, intelligent, and searchable way to organise all important work documents such as invoices and receipts. The fact that important details in the document (e.g. due date) can be recognised by the app can make it easier to pay bills on time and can provide different (fast) ways to search for documents. Also, the app’s ability to categorise and store a document accordingly in effect provides an instant time and space-saving filing system that is also secure and always available from anywhere using a smartphone.
Just The U.S. For Now
Unfortunately, Stack is only currently available in the U.S. via Google Play Store.
What Does This Mean For Your Business?
When Stack does become available in the UK, this could be a very useful digital filing system for businesses which is fully portable (a phone app), searchable, secure, and provides a backup on Google Drive if the user decides to stop using Stack at any point. This app sounds like a handy way to finally organise any piles of paper and any disparate pdfs into one central, easily accessible system. For Google, this has been a productive way to use technology that it gained through an acquisition to add value to its services, and it is another good example of how AI can be put to practical use to tackle real-life daily challenges. There are many other mobile scanner apps available (Adobe Scan, Clear Scanner, Office Lens, Tiny Scanner), but the advantages of this one are the recognising/categorising and searching elements provided by AI plus the fact that it’s from Google and backs up to Google Drive for futureproofing.