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OCR = Optical Character Recognition (interpreting machine print)
ICR = Intelligent Character Recognition (interpreting handwriting)

An OCR/ICR/OMR system scans standard forms like the ones to the right, and «cuts out» the boxes containing numbers, letters or marks. The software then interprets the content of the boxes. Most printed and handwritten numbers and letters can be recognised, and if in doubt the system will ask the user.

Tests for numbers and marks can be added (interval check, max number of marks, checksums, table lookups and much more). A verification dialog is used to correct unrecognised letters and errors detected by other tests.

Scanning speed range from 1000 to over 7000 double sided sheets pr hour, depending on the scanner model.

The interpreted data and the scanned images may be exported to files, databases or electronic archives.

Since 1994 I have developed OCR & ICR solutions for everything from Medical lab forms, Parking tickets, Electricity usage forms, and of course the norwegian election (scanning and ICR interpreting election ballots).

There is also OCR software for scanning and interpreting invoices. It looks for moving data by interpreting all text on the invoices the first time, looking for the «intro text» in front of the fields, remembering the locations for later.

More about the election scanning system: EVRY

International info on the ocr/icr engine: ReadSoft

Below are some screenshots from the election scanning:

Questionary with ICR and OMR fields
«Drop-out» colors that the scanner can't see is a good way
to prevent the «boxes» from interferring with interpretation

Power usage form with OCR and ICR fields
Verification of power usage form with uncertain digits

Election ballots scanning
If a form cannot be identified during scanning it can be
manually identified right there or removed and rescanned

Election ballots verification
In norwegian elections you can add names from other lists
Verification shows a list with the best ICR match first

OMR = Optical Mark Reading (for marks and checkboxes only)

An OMR system doesn't interpret letters, but only looks for marks on special forms like the one to the right.

The reader uses 42 LEDs to scan for marks in positions where the horizontal line marked by the «skunk marks» on the edge of the sheet align with a vertical LED track.

Detection is done by measuring the amount of light reflected for each position (a CCD sensor measure the reflection).

Preprinted info must be in a «drop-out» color (usually red).

The speed can be up to 8000 double sided sheets an hour, with no need for verification.

OMR systems were earlier used for election systems worldwide. Even by ErgoGroup in Oslo, Norway.

For more info contact Data & Research Services

OMR-reader

OMR registration form

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