Unshredding Paper

[Roel] had read that people won the DARPA shredder challenge, but that their technology was kept a secret, interested in this concept he also remembered an episode of the X-Files where they had reconstructed shredded paper using a computer system. Unlike most computer based TV show BS this did not seem to be too far fetched so he went about trying it himself.

First a note is written, and then cut up into strips, the strips are then scanned into a computer where the magic happens. Next each strip outlined in polygons and then the software is to follow the polygon outline looking for a change in color at the pixel level. The software then goes into a pattern matching mode and reassembles the paper based on a scoring system.

While not many people use old fashioned strip shredders anymore, the basic idea works and if you really wanted to expand it could be applied to cross cut or particle shredders.

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