OCR (optical character recognition) refers to computer software that converts images of written or typed texts into digital editable texts, or pictures into standard codes. Thus OCR can be called an electronic eye that is related to artificial intelligence and the robot.
The original patent for OCR came in 1929, and since 1965 the US postal service has been using OCR to read postal addresses. Bar coding and the use of special ultraviolet ink is used in the process. Today the OCR has evolved to become the ICR (intelligent character recognition) where fonts and different styles of hand writing are recognized with better accuracy.
One of the challenging areas for OCR technology is reading hand written notes that have a running character. Check book reading of amounts in a bank is also an application but still requires frequent human intervention.
Music OCR can recognise music without the convensional music staff lines. Though it still cannot recognize hand written music, music OCR software is available in the market and is frequently used in the music industry. A high accuracy application area of OCR is in MICR (magnetic ink character recognition), with high accuracy level of one error in 25000.
In the standard unicode system, OCR symbolic charecters are placed hexadecimally. Professional data entry and data conversion service providers like Managed Outsource Solutions offer a range of optical charecter recognition services for various business communities in US, Australia, Canada and the UK.