Online OCR API has a ton of hidden useful indirect features for mobile devices – image cleanup

by Ilya Evdokimov | Jun 08, 2010 | Uncategorized

dmiring the new iPhone 4G with the new and improved camera and a high-definition crystal clear screen, I immediately pop up whit dozens of ideas what I could do with that. As the quality of hardware improves, what used to be negligible becomes more and more pronounced.

Think about this – 20 years ago a photograph was a photograph and no one would question those pesky pixels. With the birth of computers, digital picture viewing, and digital picture taking, picture quality became one of the most important concerns for many. As the technology improves, it only encourages an infinite race towards perfection.

Today, and the screen of the iPhone 4G improves the user perception of the picture, the shadowy gray pictures no longer cut it.

Instead, we desire crispiness, high quality contrast, and most importantly appeal to our ultimate judge – the eye. A simple submit to an online OCR system through e-mail or API can return the same image within seconds – but in a different light. The image could be deskewed (lines straightened), despeckled (pixel noise removal), and binarized (remove all colors). Obviously not correct for pictures of people and buildings, but this does wonders on text documents, business cards, signs.

Image after being cleaned up through an Online OCR engine

Now one can fully utilize the new sharp screen they got on their iPhone 4G to view these types of images. Of course, this benefit is useful in those cases where looking at images is desired. Otherwise, I would take it one step further and view the actual OCR result for a true digital sharpest possible text.

Result form OCR conversion in MS Word document