What does a scanner scan in order to to capture an individual? Does it understand the general features of a person and only capture the differences that identify an individual? If this is the case, then does the scanner store the master copy, the boilerplate person? Can a scanner store these differences and then if you would like you could restore a person when they die or they are lost? Can you synchronize the differences so that as a person becomes different even from their different selves you could restore them to say how they were in 1976?
I imagine that the first implementation of a scanner would focus on certain administratively expedient features — finger prints, eye color, skin color, hair color — and that of course these would be poorly implemented. Nuance would be lost. Finger pints would be reduced to a laser-eye-readable bar code. Eye color to a 16 crayon Crayola box. Human skin to eight shades. Hair color the same eight shades.
The Wii features an Avatar builder called the Mii. My daughter entices houseguests to make versions of themselves from the limited palatte of bobble-head accessories. Given these limitions people are able to make very close approximations of themselves. Long after they leave their Mii Avatar’s wander around our Mii plaza. On occasion a person will create a Mii that is free form the constraints of their physical world self. It makes me wonder why more people don’t make bodies and shapes and faces that are free of any reference to their physical world self?