Optical Character Recognition is not new. It dates back to 1913 when the optophone was discovered by Dr Edmund Edward in the UK. The so-called machine was used to create digital images by bouncing off light beams on a piece of paper. This led to the development of OCR technology that can now scan textual information to convert it into digital form.
OCR has wide applications in many industries including legal, travel, healthcare, and law enforcement. It has not only revamped manual data entry tasks that took long hours of tedious work but also created room for better business opportunities. OCR technology brings value to customer experience and helps enterprise but on operations overhead.
6 Ways how OCR Technology is Working Wonders
OCR technology has seen many advances over the last years. One big evolution was when artificial intelligence started innovating business technologies. Optical character recognition powered by AI-based models – often called Intelligent Character Recognition – are relatively better than the usual OCRs since they come with a good range of document formats, different fonts, and the ability to learn new information (font’s formats, and handwritten text). Here are six ways how ICR/OCR can bring innovation to our daily lives:
1- Optimizing Storage Space
With OCR technology, you can forget old receipts, bank statements, and other paper-based records. These documents can be converted into digital data and stored on cloud storage without the need for a safe or drawer. This is particularly helpful for businesses where they have to manage huge volumes of customer data. Extracting customer records from their ID documents and storing them online databases allows enterprises to invest in physical data repositories containing customer files and records.
2- Instant Data Accessibility
Oftentimes, it becomes a hassle for customers when they need to manually access their data from file folders. A purpose-built OCR engine extracts information as such that it allows data to be retrieved in real-time with a single search operation. The data is classified into a fine hierarchy of topics and classes that makes the search operation quick and reliable. Moreover, you just need an internet connection to access the data at any time since it is available everywhere. No more carrying a briefcase full of paper documents.
3- Changing our Daily Lives
OCR Technology is almost everywhere, from airports to hospitals, and online businesses. Thanks to OCR technology, multilingual documents are not a problem any more. Tourists arriving from different countries can scan their IDs at airport terminals to verify their identity in a matter of minutes. Apart from that, it allows online businesses to provide delivery services better by extracting postal data accurately from user documents. Google Lens is a good example of OCR based on image recognition technology that can scan text to a computer and read data in multiple languages based on mere images.
4- Enhanced Security
Data placed on a cloud database is less likely to get stolen as compared to a file folder in a drawer or safe. Bad actors only need to get their hands on the paper-based documents to use them for their malicious intents. As opposed to data stored on an OCR engine, it is in digital form that cannot be accessed by any physical means. Fraudsters need to come up with sophisticated methods to get through cloud storage systems that are usually protected with encryption.
5- Cutting on Expenses
Today, OCR technology is one feather in the cap for online businesses. Who’s better: A person typing information from an ID document or an OCR software scanning a piece of paper in real-time? Without a doubt, manual data entry is a thing of the past and is not an option for fast-paced businesses now. With OCR technology, companies can focus on revenue-building tasks rather than investing in human resources.
6- Wide Array of Data Formats
OCR technology allows digitizing text into a lot of formats such as .pdf, .doc, .xls, .txt, .docx. An OCR solution is not only limited to generating textual documents but can also produce searchable image files with the formats: .png, .gif, .jpg, .tiff, etc.
To wrap it up, OCR technology is used to convert text from paper-based documents into a digitally organized form. Intelligent OCR solutions help business but operational costs as well as provide customers with a purposeful experience.
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