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Optical Readers-OCR, OMR, MICR, And Barcode Reader

August 21, 2022

The devices are known as optical readers that read text, markings, and codes using a light source. They are then transformed into digital data that computers can process.

Optical Character Recognition (OCR)

Optical Character Recognition (OCR) is a computer vision technique used to convert images into text. OCR has become indispensable in our daily lives, from scanning documents to reading QR codes.

image showing the OCR
The devices are known as optical readers that read text, markings, and codes using a light source. They are then transformed into digital data that computers can process.

OCR is a fundamental part of modern life. The ability to read text from images is critical to many industries, such as banking, finance, healthcare, retail, manufacturing, and government.

Working of OCR

Optical Character Recognition (OCR) is a computerized method of reading printed text. OCR software converts images of text into machine-readable text. OCR technology is widely used in document management systems, e-mail programs, and word processors.

The first step in using OCR is to convert the image into a digital format. Digital images can then be processed using OCR software. Once the image is converted, the program analyzes the image and determines what words are present. If the image contains only one line of text, the entire line may be recognized at once. However, if the image contains several lines of text, each line may be analyzed separately.

Optical Mark Recognition (OMR)

OMR, or optical mark recognition, is a term. Additionally known as a mark detection gadget. Data is read by these devices using a laser beam. To create digital signals, the data is transformed. The computer is then used to process the signals further.

image showing the OMR

Bar Code Readers

A bar code reader is also called a Bar code scanner. A laser beam is used by bar code scanners to read bar codes and convert them into digital information. A bar code reader is a device that reads data encoded in black-and-white bars and spaces.

image showing the barcode reader

A barcode is a machine-readable representation of information. Bar codes were originally designed to help businesses keep track of inventory, but they have since become popular for many different uses.

Types of barcode readers

 handheld scanners:  Handheld scanners are portable devices that allow you to scan items from anywhere.

Fixed-position scanners: Fixed-position scanners are stationary machines that require you to place the item directly under them.

Bar code readers are used in different places like grocery shops, shopping malls, books shops, etc.

Magnetic-Ink Character Recognition Reader (MICR)

A MICR reader is a type of optical character recognition (OCR) system that reads data from the magnetic stripe on a check or other financial instrument. These devices are used by banks and merchants to identify counterfeit bills.

image showing the MICR

It is used by the banking industry for check processing. Each check contains MICR characters at the lower-left edge. These characters represent check number, bank number, and account number

Magnetic Stripe Card Reader

The magnetic stripe card reader is also called a magstripe reader. It reads the magnetic stripe on the back of credit cards and bank cards etc. The stripe is divided into three horizontal tracks. It contains information to identify the user and the card issuing company.

The information on the stripe includes the user name, account number, card expiration date, and country code. This information can be used to make payments, authenticate users, grant access to a secure area, etc.

image of magnetic strip card reader

The magstripe reader reads the information stored on the stripe when the user swipes the card. The magstripe reader rejects the card if it’s damaged, dirty, or erased. The contents of the magnetic stripe can be erased due to magnetic fields.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is an optical reader used for?

An optical reader is a device that is used to capture images and translate that images into form (digital information) which is understandable by a computer.

What is MICR in the computer?

MICR (Magnetic Ink Character Reader) is a technology that reads text printed with magnetized ink. It is used by banks for checks.

What does an OMR device do?

OMR (Optical Mark Recognition) is also called a mark-sensing device. It detects marks such as circles and rectangles on specially printed forms. OMR is also used in multiple-choice tests such as SAT and GRE.

Where is OMR used?

OMR is used in research departments, offices, and academies. A large amount of data is processed by OMR such as surveys, questionnaires, exams, reply cards, etc.