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Old Jul 10, 2009, 12:13 PM   #1
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Default High Speed Motion Detection Camera

I am looking for a camera that I will use solely for OCR purposes.

Requirements:

-motion activated, something passes past the lens, a picture is taken
-the ability to save pictures directly to a PC, not sure if it is something as simple as a USB cable or wifi enabled feature
-AC power, I would prefer to not have to rely on battery power, but this is flexible

Essentially, this camera will be taking pictures of 10 digit (or less) numbers. I am not sure where to start my search, any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
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Old Jul 10, 2009, 12:25 PM   #2
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Hmmm....

You may want to consider one of the Canon models supported by CHDK. You'd need to look at their specs to find cameras that have an optional AC to DC adapter. It looks one of CHDK's major features is Motion Detection:

http://chdk.wikia.com/wiki/CHDK

Then, go with something like this wireless SDHC card from Eye-Fi to transfer captured images to a PC:

http://www.steves-digicams.com/pr/ey...112009_pr.html
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Old Jul 10, 2009, 12:31 PM   #3
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Sadly, I don't think I can get the transfer speeds I need with the Eye-fi. Good suggestion though, I suppose wi-fi may be out due to latency issues.
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Old Jul 10, 2009, 12:43 PM   #4
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That would depend on the application and if it needs to be near real time or not. It's my understanding that you won't see any additional delay on the camera side (because it's writing the images to the SDHC card's memory, with the wireless transfer part working in the background). The frequency of the images, along with the resolution and quality needed (impacting file size) would also factor into it. IOW, the number of photos in a given time frame, if you can you get by with a lower resolution and lower jpeg quality setting for OCR purposes, etc.).
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Old Jul 10, 2009, 2:46 PM   #5
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If you can use barcode labels instead, a barcode reader will be simpler and cheaper. See http://www.waspbarcode.com/

Otherwise, there are machine vision options as well, but they are more expensive and require more processing power. The tough part isn't the motion detection; it's the OCR of a moving label.
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Old Jul 10, 2009, 3:15 PM   #6
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The CHDK program can do imaging tied to to motion detection. You can also transfer to a PC via the USB cable. However you have to be careful during startup of the camera since the PC will detect the camera startup before CHDK starts up, so there is a ordered procedure to follow.

There is another way, the adobe reader has an OCR capability built in, and its especially good if its a computer generated file. You can also scan it in and then convert. And there are scanners that scan and do the OCR conversion to text automagically. Here are some links on the subject.

http://blogs.adobe.com/acrolaw/2006/...acrobat_w.html
http://digital-photography-school.co...scanner-review
http://www.datacap.com/canon/
http://www.photokina-show.com/0172/c...canonlide600f/

hope that helps...
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Old Jul 13, 2009, 9:46 AM   #7
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This is something that needs to happen instantaneously. The picture(s) would need to be taken, saved to a specified directory, and then the software would then extract the text from the image via OCR.

The more that I think about this, it seems like a ridiculous task. At this point, I am stuck on how to deal with duplicate images, and not only that, but the overhead of processing duplicate images. If a scanner could be used, this would be a simpler task, but the real-time aspect may prove to be too much.
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Old Jul 13, 2009, 10:21 AM   #8
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If you have the option to use barcode labels, or if the items you're tracking already have barcodes, then everything else just falls into place. Along with other industries, supermarkets have been using barcode labels with great sucess to 30 years now. Why beat your head against the wall?
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Old Jul 13, 2009, 10:28 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TCav View Post
If you have the option to use barcode labels, or if the items you're tracking already have barcodes, then everything else just falls into place. Along with other industries, supermarkets have been using barcode labels with great sucess to 30 years now. Why beat your head against the wall?
I already have a barcode scanning setup in place. Unfortunately, we need the ability to perform the same actions utilizing OCR.
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