Optical Mark Reading 101: Everything You Need to Know About Input Scanning

Optical mark reading is the process of gathering information from humans by recognizing various marks on a document. This process is accomplished by using a scanner that detects a reflection or limited light transmittance on paper.

As technology became more commonplace across the world, optical mark reading started incorporating computer peripherals in order to identify digital data. A computer peripheral is an external device that provides both input and output for a computer. For example, keyboards, mouses, and external hard drives all rely on this kind of technology.

Being able to safely identify, store, and transfer credit card information is imperative nowadays, as well. Roughly 35% of 2014 survey respondents said they prefer making purchases with a credit card and that number has continually increased over the years.

These devices can read any kind of card that is sending data to a digital device, allowing for the processing of hundreds of thousands of documents per hour.

There are dozens of industries that rely on this innovative technology. Here are some of the applications for optical mark reading:

  • Lotteries and voting.
  • Mortgage loans, insurance applications, and other banking purposes.
  • In the process of institutional research.
  • Geocoding for postal codes.
  • Community and consumer surveys.
  • Test and assessments.
  • Membership subscription forms.
  • Evaluations and feedback.
  • Data compilation.
  • Timesheets and inventory counts.
  • Product evaluation.

Additionally, optical reading has various field types to provide the correct format, including:

  1. Multiple — Several options but only one is chosen.
  2. Grid — Bubbles or lines set up in a grid format for the user to input information.
  3. Add — The totaling of the answers to a single value.
  4. Boolean — Answering yes or no to all that apply.
  5. Binary — Answering yes or no to only one.
  6. Dotted lines fields — Allowing for border dropping like traditional color dropping.

Though there are all kinds of ID readers out there, it’s recommended to purchase from experienced original equipment manufacturers. If you want to find quality computer document scanners, credit card readers, or other ID readers, give Peripheral Dynamics Inc. a call right away!

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