Posts Tagged Prizmo

Favorite Four: OCR Apps

Remember when scanners were big, bulky things that plugged into obtuse parallel ports and almost never worked as well as they should have? Long gone are those days, both in terms of the ports they use and being so restricted to bulky equipment. Now, there’s a whole selection of iOS apps out there, keen to make things easier by turning an iPhone or iPad into a portable scanner. We take a look at our four favorite OCR apps.

Image To Text
It might not be the most feature rich of apps here but, crucially, Image To Text is a free app and thereby, an ideal starting place for anyone keen to scan in content. All the user has to do is take a photo of a document that they want to extract text from, then leave the app to do all the work, thereby converting everything to a text file with editable text. It’s not perfect, and it’s restricted to text only, but it’s a handy and reasonably quick tool to try out.

FREE!
iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Released: 2011-04-20 :: Category: Business

Prizmo
The most expensive entry here, Prizmo offers plenty of different features. The app can be used to scan and recognize many types of documents, including business cards, bills and whiteboards, making it easy to share via various services. With the business card interface, it’s possible to create contacts through the information gleaned, while receipts and bills can be exported to a spreadsheet. Crucially, it’s often very accurate, especially under a bright light. A text-to-speech facility completes the package.

$9.99
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2010-08-18 :: Category: Productivity

Evernote
It’s easy to forget that Evernote does everything. Ok, maybe not everything, but it does a whole bunch of useful things, including offering a free way to scan in useful pieces of information. It’s possible to create notes with content that has been scanned in, both of the picture and text variety, all for future reference at a later date. Searching functionality is as powerful as one would expect from the Swiss Army Knife of productivity apps.

FREE!
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2008-07-11 :: Category: Productivity

Scanner Pro
Providing a high level of accuracy, Scanner Pro works well in its efforts to turn someone’s life paperless. Users can scan receipts, notes, book pages and mostly everything else they can think of with this app, with everything converted into a PDF file. With email and print features, the app is particularly useful for those who need to sign contracts before sending them off via email. Online storage capabilities are also there, meaning it’s possible to securely store many different types of document through this app.

$2.99
$6.99
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2009-10-09 :: Category: Business

Have you ever been saddled with a printed document that you didn’t want to be troubled with actually having to store?  While I have never had this issue, I am sure that there are businessmen worldwide that are inundated with useless documents, forced upon them on a moment’s notice.  Instead of shoving said wastes of the rainforest into your briefcase, wouldn’t it be great to be able to scan the documents in an instant and then file the paper away in everyone’s favorite circular filing cabinet?

Belgium based app developer Creaceed seems to be thinking along a similar wavelength and in response, developed their amazing new OCR application, Prizmo.  Optimized to run on an iPhone 3GS and iPhone 4, Prizmo makes scanning of receipts, whiteboards, business cards, and regular text a breeze, using the same technology that you carry in your pocket.

Here is a trailer where the full functionality of the app is shown in-depth:

A brief trailer cannot truly explain all of the advanced features that Prizmo touts, so here are what they list as some of the key features:

• Input Options: iPhone’s camera, import from the Photo Album, copy/paste from other apps.
• Image processing: rotation, crop, perspective correction, white picker…
• Highly accurate OCR technology in 10 languages: English, French, German, Dutch, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Danish, Norwegian and Swedish.
• No Internet connection required for image processing and performing OCR. No confidential data sent.
• Text-to-Speech available through In-App Purchase: 35 high-quality voices in 10 languages for reading scanned texts. Each voice is around 20 MB.
Many Export Options: copy the recognized results as a text, send scanned documents and vCards using iPhone’s native mail application, Dropbox & CloudApp integration, text translation (Google Translate)…
• Document Viewer
• Stylish UI, with full support of Retina display

While I may not be a globe trotter, I could see businessmen taking a serious interest in the translation services.  Just imagine being able to translate documents on the fly, while trying broker a deal in a foreign country.  This functionality alone could be a deal-maker for many, so I have no doubt it will be a huge success.

As crazy as this may sound, this article is still just glossing over the surface of what functionality Prizmo brings to the table.  If you are so inclined, they have taken the time to break down all of the technical specifications on the app’s official homepage.  If it can live up to even half of the promises it makes, Prizmo should instantly become an irreplaceable tool any entrepreneurs arsenal.

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