OCR or Optical Character Recognition refers to a technique that converts the images of handwritten or typed text after scanning into machine-editable text. Pictures of characters are translated into standard encoding schemes that represent them.(eg: ASCII)
OCR technology development which almost started in the 1930s has come off age today and one can be assured that the recognition of the regular latin alphabets has reached an accuracy level of over 99%. Other active research areas that need improvements include:
- Recognition of hand printing
- Recognition of cursive handwriting
- Other printed scripts
Recognition of human handwriting is still considered a difficult process and is a field of active research. However the recognition of handwriting technology has reached a new level called ICR (Intelligent Character Recognition) and is known to be about 80% accurate but definitely needs human intervention and error correction. The technology has been used in palm tops and automated forms processing.