Texthelp embraces ABBYY’s Cloud OCR

Texthelp, a provider of software for the education sector, has incorporated ABBYY’s Cloud-based OCR (optical character recognition) technology to perform text recognition in its Snapverter app for Google Apps for Education users.

Schools such as John Monash Science School (JMSS), Victoria’s first specialist secondary school for science, mathematics, and associated technologies, use Google Apps for Education to build virtual lessons and support students in far-flung classrooms.

“ABBYY have been a trusted partner of Texthelp’s for many years and we have used their OCR software development kits as core components of our products,” says Martin McKay, Chief Technology Officer for Texthelp. 

“We remain at the forefront of innovative software development, supporting students in learning to read, write, study and communicate with ease. Accordingly, we continuously seek out best-of-class technologies like ABBYY’s Cloud OCR to help us bring first-rate products to market.”

Snapverter is a new add-on tool for Texthelp’s ‘Read&Write for Google Chrome’ software that transforms classroom papers and files into accessible PDF documents. Teachers can simply point a smartphone at any document and snap a picture with the camera. The content is then sent to ABBYY’s cloud where the images are processed and converted into an accessible file for easy sharing with students within their Google Drive.  This Cloud-to-Cloud solution recognises text from a variety of documents and files and then makes it accessible to be read aloud by Texthelp’s extension for ‘Read&Write for Google Chrome’.

Whether it is text from worksheets, handouts, book pages, photocopies, or other paper-based materials from the classroom - even photos, charts and diagrams - everything is included in the resulting PDF, which is stored in the user’s Google Drive. Snapverter can also convert Bookshare digital publications in DAISY format to make an accessible EPUB file for reading aloud.

The ABBYY Cloud OCR SDK is a flexible and scalable on-line service for developers, system integrators and ISVs that allows them to easily enhance their applications by adding industry leading OCR, ICR and checkmark recognition functionalities. This platform-agnostic toolkit is based on ABBYY’s OCR and PDF conversion technologies - the same core technology as used in ABBYY’s FineReader products.

“We put great emphasis on developing the best document conversion technologies and work closely with leading organisations to tailor our products to best fit their needs,” says Sven Diedrich, director of the technology licensing business unit at ABBYY Europe.

“We are honoured that a long-standing customer like Texthelp once again decided to integrate our technology in a new and innovative way by incorporating our Cloud OCR into their Snapverter product.”

To obtain a free developer licence of ABBYY Cloud OCR SDK and test for yourself,  go to http://ocrsdk.com/ Schools and colleges with Read&Write for Google Chrome licences can try Snapverter for free by installing it from the Chrome Web Store.