Technology has come a long way when it comes to recognizing text within a digital image. Through the use of OCR, or Optical Character Recognition, devices can now easily read texts in scanned documents and images.
But what is OCR? How does it work exactly, and what are its applications? We’ll answer all these questions and more in this article.
What Is Optical Character Recognition?
Optical Character Recognition refers to a device’s ability to recognize printed letters, numbers, or symbols (also called optical characters) as distinguishable entities rather than an image containing lines or curves.
Its process is also simple: When a printed page of text is scanned, the scanner delivers an image of the text to the OCR software that’s installed on the device. This software then tries to identify each letter of a sentence in the image to convert it to an editable text document, which lets the user process the information in whatever format they want.
OCR is a game-changing tool because most businesses’ workflows involve receiving information from printed materials, such as forms, legal documents, invoices, and contracts. Large volumes of paperwork take up space and time to manage, even if you are the most efficient worker in the office. Through OCR, you can manage your files while you’re on-the-go, and edit them without needing to be connected to a computer all the time. This streamlines operations, automates processes, and improves your offices’ overall productivity.
While you might think this tool was conceived in modern times, the earliest ideas of OCR date back to 1870 when Fournier d’Albe’s Optophone and Tauschek’s Reading Machine were invented by scientists as ways to help the vision impaired read.
6 Devices that Feature OCR
Because this technology is incredibly useful, many device manufacturers install OCR capabilities in their products.
Here are some examples of devices that can handle optical character recognition software:
1. Mobile Phones
In the world of digitalization, our mobile phones take centre stage. We use them for virtually everything—from ordering food or clothes online to running a whole business right at our fingertips. So, it comes as no surprise that there are plenty of OCR apps made for mobile phones.
2. Photo Scanners
A conventional scanner can only analyze a document as an image file, but an OCR scanner converts this into an editable file format, such as Word or Excel.
This is such a practical tool to have, especially if you’re always on the go and would like to work while you’re travelling to and from places. Having an offline document you can easily edit is now possible thanks to OCR technology.
If you run a business, multifunctional devices will be your best friend. Many digital copiers nowadays do more than just their classic errand; they now feature OCR technology that enables you to edit text from images.
This allows users to quickly and easily convert paper documents into digital files that can be edited and shared.
4. Digital Cameras
Some digital cameras come with OCR software that can recognize and extract text from photos. This is useful for capturing text in images that may not be easily scanned, such as signs or handwritten notes.
It’s easy to use too. All you need to do is point your camera at what you’re trying to capture and convert it to your desired editable format. Just make sure that the kind of camera you have can handle the bandwidth of the OCR tool; otherwise, the scanning feature might not work as well.
5. Desktops or Laptops
The most common devices where you’ll find OCR technology installed include desktop computers and laptops. These devices have the capacity to recognize and extract text from scanned documents or images faster than the devices we mentioned above. Desktops and laptops with OCR capabilities can also recognize a wider range of fonts and text sizes.
6. Handheld OCR Scanners
If you’re not interested in using multifunctional devices, you can always buy handheld OCR scanners. These devices are a great way for you or your employees to digitize content quickly and simplify the management of paperwork needed to run your company.
The portable OCR device also makes it easier for you to scan important files, such as receipts and invoices, without having to bring physical copies wherever you go.
Save Time and Increase Productivity With Busys
Modern problems require modern solutions. In today’s digital era, your process of documenting important files and data can either make or break your business.
If this is one of the challenges you’re facing, our team at Busys.ca has got you covered—we offer Optical Character Recognition as part of our Document Management Solution package.
As the leading provider of office software solutions in Canada and the United States, you can rest assured that our skilled technicians possess the necessary capabilities to incorporate new programs as quickly as possible and keep them running smoothly all the time.
Contact us today to learn more about our OCR packages!