Optical-character recognition (OCR), or the ability for scanners to read and translate handwriting into searchable text, is used by a multitude of industries. The U.S. Postal Service utilizes OCR to read and sort addresses on mail, and legal firms often turn handwritten documents into searchable files to more efficiently assist clients. Now, with Microsoft's new software, nearly everyone will have access to OCR.
The company introduced Windows 8.1 this week in preparation for its launch in October this year. The new Windows will include Bing Optical Character Recognition Control which will allow users to take a picture of a handwritten document and translated into text, according to PC World. While OCR isn't new technology, the integration into Windows means that it is linked to other tools, like text-to-speak and language translation. This means that Spanish text can be scanned and translated into English, giving OCR an even greater realm.
This announcement comes after Android android-feature-includes-scanner-with-optical-character-recognition-technology/” target=”_blank”>began integrating OCR into its new phones, so any Android user could use their smartphone to scan text straight to their phone. With the new Windows platform, this tool goes even further.
As OCR software improves and increases in accessibility, more business can use this tool to go paperless. However, until OCR is available to every business, document scanning services can quickly and efficiently scan all documents using OCR to bring handwritten or printed text. With OCR, any document can be accurately digitized for the most extensive use.
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