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A non-contact method of capturing low-resolution text for OCR

Majid Mirmehdi, Paul Clark, Justin Lam, A non-contact method of capturing low-resolution text for OCR. Pattern Analysis and Applications,, 6(1). ISSN 1433-7541 , pp. 12–22. April 2003. No electronic version available.


Document recognition is a lively research area with much effort concentrated on optical character recognition. Less attention is paid to locating and extracting text from the general (non-desktop, non-scanner) environment. Such contact-free extraction of text from a general scene has applications in the context of wearable computing, robotic vision, point and click document capture, or as an aid for visually handicapped people. Here, a novel automatic text reading system is introduced using an active camera focused on text regions already located in the scene (using our recent work). Initially, a located region of text is analysed to determine the optimal zoom that would foveate onto it. Then a number of images are captured over the text region to construct a high-resolution mosaic composite of the whole region. This magnified image of the text is suitable for reading by humans or for recognition by OCR, or even for text-to speech synthesis. Although we employed a low resolution camera, we still obtained very good results.

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