OCR technology is the new future of digitalization. No one would have thought that we would be able to process the images and data in such an efficient way that it would be so easy and fast. With so much popularity of the tool, the surveys show that the market share of OCR technology will be doubled in the upcoming years, according to a recent survey the OCR market size is expected to reach more than $22000 million in 2027.
Mobile phones nowadays have OCR technology which people use to read signboards and extract text from images and for thousands of other purposes, even the industries are using the OCR technology to assist their customers in multiple processes of trade, finance, and most importantly security. Before getting the grip on the uses of OCR let us first understand what OCR stands for.
What is OCR Technology?
The latest innovation for every smartphone is OCR. It stands for optical character recognition and is responsible for scanning and extracting data from billboards, signs, posters, and other forms of images such as receipts as well. OCR creates a machine-readable text format from images by reading data inside an image for the complete extraction of words or more specific characters from it.
How does the OCR work?
OCR works super fast! It is now becoming more and more efficient with each passing day. The workflow of the character recognition app is explained in this blog.
Acquisition of Images
At first, every OCR compatible device needs something to scan and the scanning process requires a scanning device to read and detect the documents. In most cases, people use their mobile cameras as a scanning devices to scan documents and images that need conversion. The image data is converted into binary format. The image areas are analyzed for classification of background and text area. Light areas are categorized as background and dark areas as the text of the document by the OCR system.
Preprocessing of the detected images
This step is now involved in the newest OCR systems with the help of the latest technologies such as AI, In the preprocessing phase, the image is fixed. It is analyzed to check for errors in the image, the alignment fixing and the edges of the image are fixed in the preprocessing phase. Some systems even remove spots and dark areas inside the image using artificial intelligence. Document verification service is also used for this purpose.
Extraction of Textual Data
The very next process of the OCR cycle is the recognition of text inside the image, it usually performs this process when the image is fixed and properly aligned at the first step. In this recognition phase, the image is analyzed to check for text. The process is completed with the help of pattern matching and feature extraction techniques.
Pattern Comparison or Matching
In pattern matching the image, the text is compared with the characters stored in the system called glyphs. On every successful match, the OCR system determines the character of the text. Pattern matching works well when the image data which is being processed is in the same font as the stored glyphs of the system; most popular fonts are supported by the OCR systems.
In feature differentiation, the OCR system decomposes the characters in the image to further analyze the lines and shapes of the fonts to create the best possible match of the glyph.
In the last phase of the character recognition cycle, the image data is processed to convert the extracted textual data into a machine-readable text file that can be edited and recreated by the user. The latest OCR systems contain PDF support for files as well.
Online support for OCR systems is the new evolution in character recognition technology. With online OCR most organizations use OCR for several purposes. One major use of online OCR is the financial security of the client. The security authorities are using this technology as a tool for the identity verification of their users. OCR is used to scan the user documents to complete the KYC cycle. It uses the same text transformation principle on different documents, and with the online support of OCR, the document verification process is now even more simplified.
Wrapping it Up
We live in a world where most of us are using mobile phones to capture and process day-to-day data. With so many new features getting added daily to smartphones, the OCR technology is embedded into major mobile phones unleashing the power to process data in just a few taps.
Research shows that the OCR technology is increasing each day with new advancements getting updates every week. More new ways to interact with the digital copies of the data and most documents are the future of Optical character recognition.