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April 19, 2006

ScanR - use camera phones for OCR

scanR is a free service that lets you transform camera phone pictures into PDF documents. You can take a picture of a document, send it to scanR by email and in less than a minute you'll get a PDF file. If you save the file as text in Acrobat Reader, you'll have the text contained in the document. You can also use it for whiteboard images.

scanR requires 1 megapixel cameras for whiteboard scanning and 2 megapixel cameras for document scanning. For best results, take pictures about 12" from the document, in a well-lit area.

I tested this online OCR service with Sony Ericsson K750i and the results were pretty good. It missed some characters, so it can't be used as a replacement for an OCR software as Abbyy FineReader, but the PDF from scanR can improve the results of an OCR processing with a commercial software.

Related:
Use Gmail to break PDF DRM

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