ABBYYEnabling the Ecosystem is a series of interviews with those people and firms that are helping to build the overall Android ecosystem.

Today’s interview is with Rick Pierson of ABBYY‘s Mobility Group.

AG: For those readers not familiar with ABBYY, what’s the firm all about?

RP: ABBYY is a leading provider of document conversion, data capture and linguistic software. The key areas of ABBYY’s research and development include document recognition technologies and applied linguistics.

ABBYY is one of the world’s primer OCR (Optical Character Recognition) technology companies.  ABBYY has OCR solutions for both native applications running on a mobile handset or for server based applications.  ABBYY Mobile OCR Engine 3.0 is the only small memory product for developing fast, light and compact optical character recognition (OCR) applications for mobile devices and PCs.

AG: I notice you have ABBYY Business Card Reader for Symbian S60. Any moves to make such a product available for Android?

RP: ABBYY does not have plans at this time to port our Business Card Reader to other mobile OS platforms; we prefer to have the worldwide mobile development community build these applications, and this is why ABBYY has ported the mobile OCR engine to iPhone, Android, Windows Mobile, Linux and Symbian.  We will have a solution for RIM in 4Q-09.  We are working diligently to educate the development community that they should be developing applications using OCR on the handset.

AG: I suspect greater interest for followers of this column would be the Mobile OCR (MOCR) Engine. What can that all do?

RP: I could make this answer 2 pages long, but for the sake of your readers here is the short version (for a more detailed list of features please refer to this URL

  • Using the functionality of ABBYY Mobile OCR Engine, it is easy to develop applications that can be used to input text or business card information into phone books, send fragments of newspaper articles via e-mail or SMS, or store them in text formats or as notes, in a calendar, notepad etc.
  • ABBYY Mobile OCR Engine 3.0 provides text recognition in 58 languages (for full listing go to, which meets the requirements of developers all over the world.  Many more languages are being added every quarter.
  • The new version of ABBYY Mobile OCR Engine has a new automatic image skew correction function. When you take photographs with a mobile device camera or scan images with a portable scanner on-the-run, image skews occur fairly often, which has a negative impact on the recognition quality. ABBYY Mobile OCR Engine 3.0 allows detection and correction of skews within one degree of precision, which results in a significant improvement of the quality and accuracy of mobile OCR.
  • Improved Data Analysis Algorithm: Thanks to the new image processing algorithm, Data Analysis discards all the unnecessary information in the image and thus provides more accurate recognition on mobile devices.
  • Spell checking during text recognition also considerably improves the quality of the output text.
  • ABBYY Mobile OCR Engine 3.0 has been ported to various platforms: Android, iPhone, LINUX, ucLinux, Symbian, Windows Mobile, and RIM will be available 4Q-09.

Stay tuned to tomorrow’s installment, as we dive into greater details on what the Mobile OCR Engine can do!

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