There are many different acronyms for O.C.R. – Office of Civil Rights, Official Cash Rate, Old Country Road, Operational Change Report, Orange County Raptors (lacrosse club in NY), and even Oxygen Consumption Rate, just to name a few. For the purpose of this blog, we are going to be talking about Optical Character Recognition.
What is Optical Character Recognition? OCR is a technology that enables you to convert different types of text and documents, such as scanned paper documents, emails, PDF files or images captured in digital form into editable and searchable data. It creates a digital version of a printed, typed, or handwritten document that computers can read without the need to manually type or enter the text. OCR is generally used on scanned documents in PDF format, but can also create a computer-readable version of text within an image file.
According to lifewire.com, the earliest use of text recognition dates to 1914. The widespread development and use of OCR-related technologies began in earnest in the 1950’s, specifically with the creation of very simplified fonts that were easier to convert to digitally-readable text. The first of these simplified fonts was created by David Shepard and commonly known as OCR-7B. OCR-7B is still in use today in the financial industry for the standard font used on credit cards and debit cards. In the 1960’s, postal services in several countries began using OCR technology to vastly speed up mail sorting, including the United States, Great Britain, Canada, and Germany. OCR is still the core technology used to sort mail for postal services around the world. In 2000, key knowledge of the limits and capabilities of OCR technology was used to develop the CAPTCHA programs used to stop bots and spammers.
Over the decades, OCR has grown more accurate and more sophisticated due to advancements in related technology areas such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, and computer vision. Today, OCR software uses pattern recognition, feature detection, and text mining to transform documents faster and more accurately than ever before.
What else is OCR used for?
- Preserving historic documents and newspapers, while also making them searchable
- Indexing documents for use by search engines
- Recognition of driver license plates by speed camera and red-light camera software
- Speech synthesizers for people who cannot speak – theoretical physicist, Stephen Hawking (RIP), is perhaps the most well-known user of a speech synthesizer program
NetChain Squared OCR technology, nicknamed OPTICAPTURE (pending) because of its distinct ability to read digital text much like the human eye, is the next generation of OCR. It has the ability to read a digital invoice in many different file formats and pull the data directly into the platform line item by line item with 99% accuracy. This process practically eliminates the need for manual invoice data entry as well as the human errors that come along with it. This ability to read and pull in the invoice data automatically automatically is the first step along the path of full automation processing that is the NetChain Squared platform.
If you would like to learn more about our OCR technology, how it works with our innovative platform, and how it can help you move to full automation of your AP/AR processes please fill out the brief form below or schedule a consultation on our website and we will reach out shortly!