Microsoft “Office Lens” Document Scanner App for Android Beta Released

Microsoft just released the Android beta app for “Office Lens”, an app that allows you to capture notes, business cards, receipts, and other printed material to be saved as a digital file. The app can also capture things like whiteboards and save them as a digital file, a useful tool for capturing meeting notes in the office.

The written text will be recognized with OCR, transforming what was written into text that you can edit. Using the app is very simple, and to start you just open the app and use the camera to capture your image.  The app takes care of the rest by framing, cropping, and enhancing the image. The resulting file can be saved to your gallery, Word, PowerPoint, OneDrive, OneNote, or as a PDF. To get started with the app you will need to join the beta community on Google+ and sign up to test the app.

Source: Android Police

Google reCAPTCHA Eschews Text Puzzles for an Image Matching System

The familiar annoyance of two word text ‘puzzles’ to prove that you’re human – staple of the internet for over a decade – is no more. Google has replaced its supposed bot-deterrent text-based reCAPTCHA with an image match system to confirm a user’s authenticity.

The old two-word system – which served a secondary purpose of helping Google’s OCR software to decipher words it struggled with when digitising books – was meant to be bot-proof, but advances in digital character recognition made the process redundant.

“CAPTCHAs have long relied on the inability of robots to solve distorted text,” Vinay Shet, product manager of reCAPTCHA at Google, explained. “However, our research recently showed that today’s artificial intelligence technology can solve even the most difficult variant of distorted text at 99.8 per cent accuracy. Thus distorted text, on its own, is no longer a dependable test.”

Instead, users will be asked to match similar images of animals (mostly cats. The internet loves cats). The old word recognition system will still be used as a back-up test.

Source: The Register