Tablet PCs: The next big thing for OCR

By Joe Budelli posted 10-27-2010 14:05


Tablet talk is everywhere.  The Apple iPad is set to be on the best seller list this holiday season, the HP Slate 500 is available now, and the Samsung Galaxy Tab is expected to be on sale next month.  It’s no wonder that Gartner expects “worldwide media tablet sales to reach 19.5 million units in 2010.” I myself am an iPad owner, and I enjoy the Apple experience, but the recent releases, and promise of new, category defining devices makes it exciting to see what is next for tablet PCs. 

Our industry should share in this excitement.   Tablets, while unchartered territory, are undoubtedly the next area of expansion for OCR and capture. While we are already involved in the mobile computing arena by means of cell phones and smart devices, this next new wave is fast approaching.

Think about it.  Devices such as the Samsung Galaxy and the HP Slate take pictures with dual built-in cameras.  This means that we have the ability to create apps and software that integrate OCR and capture technology for these products. Most tablets have a seven inch screen (or larger) and three-to-five megapixel cameras.  Because of this, the opportunity for high quality, more usable image captures is far greater than that which exists with the iPhone’s three and a half inch screen.  So long as the camera is able to take good quality pictures, full page documents will be able to be photographed and used while on the go, in ways that will make every user more productive.  Just think of the possibilities: language translation, searchable and editable PDFs, automated processing, mobile dictionaries, barcode scanners, etc., all within the tablet device.  The integration of OCR and capture into tablet apps has the potential to make these devices infinitely more useful in enterprise environments, creating a significant opportunity to innovate how mobile workers do business.

As we move into a new age of tablet computing, I believe that consumers will become less reliant on big machines, such as scanners, and more reliant on mobility and convenience, such as a tablet camera. What are you looking forward to the most with regards to tablets and data capture?

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