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AIDC Technology

Optical Mark Recognition (OMR)

Most of us are quite familiar with this type of data input technology. As students, we have gone through standardized testing that uses optical mark recognition. This is one of the earliest types of automated data entry. OMR processes marked data by detecting and measuring reflected light flooding the form. When a mark has been made within a constrained area (with a #2 pencil or more recently, a felt-tipped pen), it absorbs light. Subsequently, electronic circuitry recognizes the mark as valid and sends a digital signal to the computer. The form data, represented by mark positions, are translated to ASCII text records for use in a variety of applications.

Another huge application of OMR is in lotteries, where participants can quickly and easily mark their selection of numbers on a machine-readable ticket.

Although less sophisticated than other optical data collection technologies, OMR can serve certain high-volume data collection applications very cost-effectively because of labor and cost efficiencies. It has a lock on the educational market and is growing steadily in commercial and government applications.

Key Attributes and Limitations

  • Mark/no mark optical-read, read-only technology
  • Relatively low cost scanning equipment
  • Application-specific forma are required
  • Accuracy determined by the effectiveness of detecting marks and accommodating the variability in marks.

Acknowledgement: Some of the information on AIDC pages is based on the information in AIMGlobal's website. We would like to thank AIMGlobal for this.

More Information on AIDC

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