Tencent Chinese OCR

Tencent has been producing a lot of apps over recent months and most I’ve dismissed as being part of their ever growing social network however this stood out as being a little different.

SOSO慧眼 (or 搜搜慧 眼) is an OCR application which, as the title page suggests, reads and translates Chinese text.  At present there are 4 language options: English to Chinese, Chinese to English, French to Chinese and German to Chinese.  Most important to us would be the Chinese to English option which, as I’ve found, is far from perfect.

The basic setup of the program is that you take a photograph and then it picks the characters and attempts to recognise them.  The key word here is “attempts”.  I’m not sure if the program is better with Simplified charters, but with the Traditional here in Hong Kong I have had limited success with those which are a little more complex.

The program does have some potential and as its from a Chinese based software developer there is every hope that it will become much more accurate in the future.  This may have only just graduated from the QQ labs but in my opinion it should still be in there.

See the screenshots below for some of the problems I encountered with the non-standard fonts.  I think the complexity of certain characters as well as fonts which distort the character cause problems so it limits its use on packaging.

The app is available on the Play store for free HERE.

To see some of the other Android apps I’ve found useful have a look HERE.

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