Hanping Chinese OCR

Thanks to a heads up from Mark Carter that EmberMitre (the guys who created the Hanping dictionary) have come out with a Chinese OCR app for Android.

I’ve only had a few hours to test it out but so far I have had relatively positive results.  The programs introduction pages do state that this is meant for plane fonts (i.e. basic menus, books etc) and displays the results in the same format as the dictionary.

I gave it a try with a few menu items during 飲茶 today with no problems at all.  It flickered through a few characters at times but as long as the camera was held steady it matched the characters within 1 or 2 seconds.

Following this I decided to give it a try with some logos but that failed.  The best I got was a partial match to some text on a cooking oil bottle.  This was to be expected though – its in the blurb at the beginning of the app that its for plane fonts.  Hopefully this will be an area where they expand the product because for my personal uses (and I’d image others too) my main use of an OCR app on my phone is quick lookups of menu items, product names, and street signs.

What is worth noting though is that I used the live camera to begin with and it matched all of the characters, it just didn’t lock them and started matching again.  So it could do it.  Comparing the first image using the live camera and the second image from a pre-taken image (this little app accepts both) it matched all except 芥.  So I’m confident that in a version of two we will see some amazing results from this app.

Priced at $39 (Hong Kong Dollars) this is a bargain that I’ll be using regularly and has fantastic potential.  The app is available on the Play Store HERE.

To see some other Android apps I’ve found useful (as a Cantonese learner, with some Mandarin mixed in) learning and using Chinese have a look HERE.

2 responses to “Hanping Chinese OCR

    • Fantastic results with menu items so far (simple type faces) – this will probably be my primary use for a mobile OCR app alongside flyers, magazines etc. Really pleased with the results so far.

      What I would request as an additional feature is to allow the user to select characters where the OCR struggles to get a match – show all possible characters that could match, or maybe the option to draw and match (like the dictionary pen tool).

      Really pleased with my purchase so far though.

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