Love or hate to type – the Odyssey of text recognition 2017-12-01T13:32:42+00:00

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Love or hate to type – the Odyssey of text recognition


As the title hints already, this article is a summary of my opinion on text recognition. It is meant to explore the benefits of scanning instead of typing.

Why type when you can scan?

We live in an era of technological development. Yet, most of the time, we are caught up in redundant activities. Sign up with your name here. Type your delivery address there. Fill out your credit card details elsewhere. Et. Cetera.

Typing as a behavior

I noticed a behavioral pattern when it comes to the way I use technology lately. In my spare time, I spend more time on my smartphone than on my laptop. Also, I stopped signing up for services or anything at all if I have to fill out a form. I want everything quick and simple.

The question is – am I the only one? Maybe yes, maybe no.

Scanning stigma

“So, what does your company do?” – “We offer text recognition for mobile devices.”

The next conversation line splits individuals into two categories:

“But why would you need that? Desk scanners are the best.” – the one who fears change.

“Oh, so like scanning barcodes and QR-codes?” – the one who has seen change, but didn’t like it.

Text recognition for smartphones means I can be lazy. I don’t have to type something I could scan instead. That means the pre-paid SIM-card recharge code. A gift card I got for my birthday. A passport to fill out my name and birthday. A WI-FI password from a printed paper or directly from a router box. An electricity meter to keep track of consumption. Virtually anything I don’t feel like typing for a thousandth time.

Scanning as the norm

One of the reasons for which now is a great time to be alive is the multitude of efficiency problems we have solved. Over the course of the years, people have identified deficiencies and have created solutions. And have reiterated those solutions until they found the one that works and stuck with it.

Optical Character Recognition has been around for at least 30 years. Smartphones for roughly 10. Yet integrating an OCR tool on a smartphone is something still very new. Why has a 30-years old technology not been included in the initial stage of development of a smartphone? With every day more technological advancements, why hasn’t OCR made the cut for basic smartphone features?

How long will we have to wait before we realize the benefit of mobile text recognition?

Waiting for you to realize the benefit of OCR

The benefit of the doubt

And so, I don’t understand why we still type. There is nothing that can convince me otherwise.

It’s boring and redundant and annoying when you misspell something. Then you have to delete it and rewrite it until you finally get it right. I don’t expect you to see the benefit of scanning in an instant. But I do encourage you to be more self-aware of your mobile behavior.

What are your recurrent typing actions? Can you find the often-typed text printed somewhere?

Wouldn’t it be less stressful, as well as quicker, if you could simply scan it?

I think it would.





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