Dropbox today is releasing a slew of new enterprise features as it continues to try to woo larger businesses in an effort to build a strong new line of business.
The most interesting new feature is probably a tool in its mobile application that allows business users to scan documents and upload them directly into Dropbox. The idea is that there is still a lot of activity and business development that happens in the real world, and Dropbox hopes to seamlessly extend that into its services.
“We all still love using analog tools, writing on white boards and using sticky notes and printed pieces of paper,” head of product Todd Jackson said. “We want to take analog info, help users get it into Dropbox, and make it more searchable and accessible.”
Here’s one of the more unique aspects: the company uses optical character recognition (or OCR, for short) to recognize text on the document that it’s scanning. That makes content within those documents — if it works — actually searchable inside the app. Given that Dropbox’s strength has generally been its core technology, and its quick synchronization tools, the company is clearly leaning on that in order to build a differentiated product.
“The way we view our job is to take all this complexity that exists in real world and get to simple, that’s what separates Dropbox from other companies,” head of product Todd Jackson said. “We sweat the details, launching new features and products is just table stakes. The hard part is how you integrate into workflows and help make work simple.”
There are plenty of use cases for something like this. A lot of design happens on real-life media and in conference rooms, for example. But all that information has to be stored somewhere, eventually, and be easily accessible. If Dropbox can make that experience more seamless, it might find a user base that rapidly adopts the technology in favor of traditional flatbed scanners — or, worse, huge binders full of documents.
Starting off, the scanner — and other tools — will be available for iOS users. The tools aren’t on Android just yet, and the company didn’t have a direct response as to when they might be available to Android users.