Intelligent Character Recognition and its implication in businesses

Intelligent Character Recognition: Along with the OCR technology, the new and advanced ICR software has optimized the business processes and automated the workflows considerably, leading to the development of efficient network models.

What is Intelligent Character Recognition (ICR):

The Intelligent Character Recognition (ICR) software, being a handwriting recognition technology, is designed to process handwriting from images. It is a subset and considered an advanced version of the Optical Character Recognition (OCR) which captures characters i.e. printed text from the scanned images.

ICR performs extensive tasks of recognizing text in different fonts and styles. Whereas the term may seem to be of little importance, it is in fact critical to the adequate functioning of the Enterprise Content Management System (ECM). It effectively assists the ECM of an organization by reading the handwritten text in scanned documents and the ECM, in turn, puts this respective data to work i.e integrating it into business processes such as analytic reporting.

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OCR Vs ICR:

The two terms are very closely related and are often mistaken for the other. However, they possess some characteristics that clearly tell them apart. Optical Character Recognition (OCR) works on a broader aspect and overlooks minute details.

It is accustomed to specifically translate scanned images of the text irrespective of their type i.e. printed or typewritten and further convert them into machine-readable text. It works on the translation of lengthy extensive documents into electronic files. The limited ability of OCR to read characters restricts it from recognizing complicated fonts.

An ICR on the other hand is designed to perform more specific functions of reading the handwriting with different fonts and styles. An ICR software can read new fonts and styles by developing an AI-based network model that performs the function of self-learning when exposed to a new font. They are then upgraded in the database and the system reads and identifies them accurately.

A computer system with ICR software has the benefit of improving the accuracy and recognition by detailed study of the handwriting. Compared to OCR, it is more detailed and involved. Hence, the optical character readers differ from ICR in a way that it is not designed to recognize handwriting. Moreover, it has the property of being copy-pasted.

Benefits of ICR:

The presence of ICR software in a system makes the ECM functioning more effectively. An ECM lacking the ICR software would only be able to read and process printed text in the document, eliminating handwritten text.

With the effective implementation of ICR software, the handwritten information from the documents does not go unnoticed and is recognized efficiently. Hence, the extraction of all the details is made easy and the document is processed as a whole.

The output of ICR software is then used by the ECM to update the records, hence manual data entry is abolished and the information accuracy is considerably increased. The data extracted can also be used to optimize the business processes by integrating them into automated workflows.

Pros and Cons of ICR and OCR:

For a business to choose between ICR and OCR, it should be well aware of their respective advantages and disadvantages. Talking about OCR first, its main advantage is its affordability. But with that comes limited capabilities, the exact reason it is said that affordability comes with a cost.

Although OCR software is less expensive, it provides restricted features by not reading complicated fonts that remain trapped in the document. However, it still is in demand since most businesses do not really require advanced features and go well on cost-saving.

The ICR process, on the other hand, is capable of reading and processing any font presented to it. Along with that it possesses the advanced features of being able to learn handwriting so as to increase the efficiency and accuracy of the system. The disadvantage is that it is quite expensive, a lot more than the OCR software, even though it does not have all the features as those of optical text recognition.

Use of ICR and OCR in Document Management Software:

DMS performs effective measures of making an office or an organization paperless i.e. digitizing the entire paperwork so that it can be accessed from anywhere. Hence, the most suitable software that can assist the DMS to work efficiently and securely in this regard is the OCR and ICR.

The companies that benefit the most from this software are the real estate/ property management companies and those having multiple vendors.

The practical implication of OCR and ICR:

For the purpose of saving time and increasing work efficiency and accuracy, the OCR and ICR software are great tools to transfer text directly from pictures to digital documents. Therefore, many character recognition apps have been developed that engage in effectively performing OCR and ICR services.

The most common optical character readers are as below:

  • PDF Scanner: Document Scan+ OCR
  • ONLINE OCR
  • OmniPage Standard 18
  • Office Lens

For intelligent character recognition, the following tools and icr mobile apps are used:

  • A2iA Mitek
  • ICR Touch
  • Parascript FormXtra.AI

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