HP has announced a 48-bit scanner that it claims is super efficient and can protect reflective images from damage.

The Scanjet 5500c uses HP’s Automatic Photo Feeder – a technology that uses a cushion of air to float photos over the scan area. Original photos make no contact with the scanner's glass.

HP's image capture manager Tim Potter said: "This makes it easier to scan photos. You can scan 24 photos in just six minutes. This process was previously time consuming and tedious. And because there’s no contact between glass and photo it means the photo doesn’t get scratched.”

The product ships with a 35mm transparency adaptor, optical character-recognition software and connects via the backward-compatible USB 2.0 standard. It ships in October and costs £249.