Sure you can hire one of those fancy business card scanning services. Or you can get all that juicy, paper-bound contact info into your digital assistant with the very much free Google Goggles. Google Goggles permits searching the Web using pictures taken with your mobile phone. When describing, speaking or typing your search query just won’t cut it, simply open the app, snap a picture, and wait for your search results. You can get it on your Android phone via dedicated app or on your iPhone via the Google Search app.
But Goggles can do more. When you snap a picture of a business card (or any contact info on a page for that matter) you get the option to add it to your contact list. Goggles doesn’t just recognize the image as text, it will recognize it as a contact and open the appropriate action item on your phone. Pretty freaking cool.
Want to see how? Check out the Demo Slam video below. And start snapping.
Last week, I posted about a free Web utility that would allow you to upload scanned documents and apply OCR treatment. Now Google Docs has trotted out a free OCR feature available for on-line docs, per the Google Operating System Blog (link here).
The option appears during the uploading process: Docs users are presented with a clickable link that will run an OCR scan of docs uploaded into user accounts. Those familiar with OCR know that the process extracts characters and inserts them into a new text document. PDFs apparently do better with the process and simply black text on white background yields the best result.
As far as those results, users report some formatting loss and less than perfect end product. And, you will need to separately load and save the PDF if you want both the original and the OCR’d version of the doc. Still, while it may not be the power tool you are looking for, it does offer a free option for simple scans and searchable saves of images, business cards or simple records.