How Does Optical Character Recognition OCR Technology Work?
Optical Character Recognition OCR Technology works to convert paper documents into machine-readable text. This enables them to be edited with a word processor, such as Microsoft Word or Google Docs.
Unlike a traditional scanner, an OCR app doesn’t just create an image of a document – it turns that image into searchable text. This is why it is a vital part of any digital document management system or app.
The OCR engine needs to be custom-built to meet the specific business requirements, so it’s important to know exactly what a product’s functionality is before selecting an OCR engine. This will help you choose a solution that will perform the best for your app and ensure maximum performance.
Pre-processing — converting a scanned document into a series of images and removing noise to improve the recognition accuracy. This is usually done to reduce the number of false positives, especially in cases when there are a lot of different elements that could distort the results.
Pattern recognition — the OCR engine learns to recognise different types of text by training itself with examples of different fonts and languages. This helps to ensure it recognizes the most common text styles.
Post-processing — the OCR engine may add a lexicon to the output so that it can better identify words in the input text. This can increase the accuracy of the output, but it can also cause problems when a document contains proper nouns or technical language that doesn’t appear in the lexicon.
OCR engines can be used to analyze a wide variety of documents, from passports and license plates to invoices, business cards and bank statements. This is often done to enable data-entry automation and indexing, as well as to assist the blind and visually impaired.
Financial services — OCR can speed up the processing of loan applications and mortgages by up to 70 percent. This can save money and time by automating the review of a loan application and ensuring it is approved or rejected based on the financial institution’s rules.
Scan to pay — OCR can automatically process invoices and credit card payments from a smartphone or camera. This saves time and eliminates errors by capturing and extracting payment information in seconds.
Authentication — OCR can be used to automatically recognize a user’s document format and extract relevant data from it, such as their name and address. This can be useful for secure online services where users must authenticate their identity using a driver’s license or other document.
OCR can also be used for translation, enabling a foreign-language document to be translated into another language for ease of access. This is an important aspect of cross-border business communication and allows a company to work with customers from around the world. It can also be used for archiving historic information, such as newspapers or phonebooks.