OCR Technology and OCR Developer: What Is This?
We live in a digital age, where the web app development is gaining huge popularity with high speed and where huge amounts of data and information are being stored in electronic form. These data can also be quickly and conveniently transmitted from one user to another through computer networks, such as the vast Internet. With digitization so widespread, we can clearly see dramatic shifts in lifestyle patterns among the general population. For example, electronic books (e-books) and digital magazines are steadily rising in popularity, and they are seeing markedly increased market shares compared to traditional printed books and magazines. This isn’t surprising, because digital books and magazines don’t take up any space, don’t weigh anything, don’t get dilapidated as they age, and won’t be destroyed by fires if stored on the cloud.
Due to these benefits of digitally stored media, there are some initiatives to digitize traditionally formatted media, such as books and movies, in order to preserve them longer and to allow them to take advantage of digital capabilities. One particular technology that aids in this undertaking is optical character recognition, or OCR. In this article, we take a look at what this technology can do and how you can take full advantage of its features in your businesses.
Technology Overview: How an OCR Developer Can Help You
Optical Character Recognition is the process of converting printed or handwritten text into digital text which may then be edited on a computer. For example, printed text on a document or handwritten text on a piece of paper may be scanned or photographed and then uploaded onto a computer, and an OCR software may then be able to read the printed or handwritten text and turn them into computer-editable text. Such a process is highly useful for many types of applications, such as:
Many business and government transactions require submission of several documents, such as valid IDs, certificates, etc. Typically, a number of employees are assigned to read and encode the details from these documents into some database or spreadsheet. Adopting OCR in this process would make it a lot faster and more efficient, and may also dramatically reduce the overall operational cost.
A lot of devices, such as tablets, smartphones, and even some laptops, accept handwriting as a form of input. These are typically done using stylus pens. OCR is the key that enables these machines to interpret and understand the handwritten input and convert them into digital text that may be processed by the machine. In some cases, real-time OCR is even used to digitize handwritten input on the fly.
Number Plate Recognition
A large number of CCTV cameras are now installed across different streets, establishments, and homes, and these are used for surveillance and security. OCR is highly suitable for use in these systems as it allows the automatic recognition of the number plates on vehicles, thereby enabling establishments to make a list of the number plates of all vehicles that pass through its regions of surveillance.
People with visual disabilities may be unable to read documents or books. OCR may help out in this situation by scanning these documents or books and extracting the text from them. These contents may then be read aloud to the visually impaired by the computer. For example, OCR can be useful for books for which there is no braille version, as it enables blind people to read them.
Top 5 OCR Development Tools
OCR capabilities can be quickly integrated into any application with the help of some frameworks or engines that extend APIs for use by an OCR developer. Let’s take a look at 5 popular OCR tools for creating OCR scanning software.
Tesseract is a free, open-source OCR framework written in C and C++, and can be run either via command line or by importing its C and C++ APIs into your applications. It has been sponsored by Google since 2006, during which time it was considered among the best open-source OCR engines in terms of accuracy. It is available for Linux, Windows and MacOS, although developers claim it to have only been meticulously tested on Windows and Linux systems.
OCRopus is a free, open-source collection of OCR tools for Python, written in C++ and Python. Like Tesseract, it has been sponsored by Google since 2007, and it follows a modular design, so that its individual components can be run and combined with other components without inter-module dependencies. It was intended to be used for high volumes of digitization tasks, such as book digitizations.
Conjecture is another open-source OCR framework for C++. Like OCRopus, it is a collection of OCR tools that follow a modular approach. Moreover, it boasts of an in-depth and robust testing infrastructure. Furthermore, it uses the object-oriented programming paradigm, and is therefore highly extensible, so that developers can use existing objects and methods to create their own features and functionalities. Unlike most open-source software, it is not hosted on GitHub, but is instead hosted on an SVN repository.
Anyline brings the power of OCR into mobile devices. It provides an OCR SDK to mobile application developers, so that OCR features may be integrated into any mobile phone application. It currently supports the iOS and Android mobile platforms. Anyline uses neural networks and machine learning for its OCR capabilities, and much of its core features are written using Google’s TensorFlow framework.
OpenCV is one of the most popular computer vision frameworks today, providing developers not only with OCR APIs, but also with APIs for many other computer vision features, such as image processing, face recognition, object detection, etc. As such, it becomes a complete package that developers can use for an array of computer vision capabilities, including OCR. What’s more, it supports multiple programming languages, such as C, C++, Python, and Java, as well as multiple platforms like Windows, Linux, MacOS, and even mobile platforms like Android and iOS.
The Demand on OCR Developer
OCR development entails developers who can use any of the various available OCR frameworks and integrate them into any application, be it web, desktop, or mobile, depending on the needs of the product owner. As the demand for OCR rises, the need for excellent OCR developers in businesses also becomes increasingly apparent. If you wish to include OCR integration into your applications, or if you want to create OCR applications for your business, your best bet would be to hire a great OCR programmer to help you out.
OCR Developer Rates
If you wish to hire an OCR developer, you should scout the market for highly skilled developers for the best possible rates. Let’s take a look at the OCR developer rates in different countries to see the best place to hire from. For this, we use PayScale as our data source, which gives self-reported gross annual salaries in different industries. We compare salaries of software engineers, who are usually the ones who develop optical character recognition software. The reported salaries are as follows:
- US – $80,825
- UK – £34,142 ($48,666)
- Ukraine – $24,232
- Canada – C$70,009 ($57,013)
- Germany – €50,018 ($62,538)
It is clear from the above numbers that Ukraine offers the best software engineer rates, and we can infer that it also offers the best OCR developer rates. Therefore, it is the place to hire developers from if you want to get the best value out of your money.
Hire OCR Developer Now
Optical character recognition allows computers to read printed and handwritten text so that they may be processed digitally. It’s a technological breakthrough that has seen countless applications in a wide range of fields and industries. We have seen the various OCR tools available, as well as some useful information on hiring OCR developers. With these information, you’re now fully equipped to hire your ideal OCR developer.
If you’re looking to do just that, look no further! Here at Mobilunity, a dedicated development teams provider, we’ve got Europe’s best software developers skilled in the various OCR frameworks, as well as many other technologies. Moreover, we are based in Ukraine, so our rates are one of the lowest in the whole continent. For all your OCR needs, we’re your partner.