Linux Turns 25!

Anyone who kept up with us at LEAD over the last year knows that we love a good celebration, especially in honor of 25 year anniversary (see: LEAD Technologies: 25 years of Imaging Excellence and 25 Projects in 25 Days: Celebrating LEADTOOLS’ Depth of Features and Ease of Use). And today we join the world in celebrating the 25th birthday of Linux operating system!

Linux will turn 25 years old on August 25, the day Linus Torvalds sent out his fateful message asking for help with a new operating system. “I’m doing a (free) operating system (just a hobby, won’t be big and professional like gnu) for 386(486) AT clones. This has been brewing since april, and is starting to get ready. I’d like any feedback on things people like/dislike in minix, as my OS resembles it somewhat (same physical layout of the file-system (due to practical reasons) among other things),” he wrote in the comp.os.minix message board. And the rest, as they say, is history.

History indeed. And LEADTOOLS has come a long way since we first expanded our reach with support for Linux back in 2000 (Version 12). With LEADTOOLS Imaging SDK Technology for Linux, programmers are able to add powerful imaging features to their Linux applications such as document viewing and conversion, OCR, Barcode, DICOM, compression, image processing, and more.

Not to re-gift or anything, but here’s a sample Linux application one of our developer support agents did in honor of our 25th birthday: Linux OCR, Barcode and Format Conversion Batch Processor: 25 Projects in 25 Days. Happy Birthday Linux!

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Android Video and Screen Capture – Using ADB Wirelessly

As you may have heard, we recently released an update to LEADTOOLS mobile technologies. Part of the update included new demos, which we wanted to highlight with some new marketing videos. After some research, I determined that ADB (Android Debug Bridge) and a batch file was going to be the best way to capture videos and screens of the demos on the device. In this setup, I was able to run a command in the console to start the capture and pull the file from the device to my local file system with one command. After almost breaking the USB connector in my phone, I figured out how to do it over Wi-Fi.

At the bottom of this post is the batch file that I came up with.
Simply type record 0 to take a screenshot from the device or
record 30 to record everything that happens on the device’s screen for the next 30 seconds.

At the end of the script are steps on how to connect ADB to the device over Wi-Fi, so you can disconnect from USB and not be tethered to your computer. Angels sang when I found that info. 👼

Setting up ADB was pretty simple. I installed Android Studio, which includes ADB. Then I updated my PATH variable to include
%HOMEPATH%\AppData\Local\Android\android-sdk\platform-tools
That was it for my computer.

On the phone, I just needed to go to Settings to check "Enable USB Debugging". Easy peasy.

And finally, the batch file that is more comments than batch: RECORD.bat

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@echo off
goto :Code
==============================================================================
RECORD.BAT
Usage:
Only the first parameter is used and should be an integer>=0
%1>0 will record video for that many number of seconds (mp4)
%1==0 will take a screenshot (png)
The file name created will be named based on the time the file is pulled
from the device.
==============================================================================
==============================================================================
:Code
adb devices
if %1==0 (
adb shell screencap -p /sdcard/screen.png
adb pull /sdcard/screen.png
adb shell rm /sdcard/screen.png
for /f "tokens=1-5 delims=:" %%d in ("%time%") do rename "screen.png" %%d-%%e-%%f.png
) else (
adb shell screenrecord --time-limit %1 --bit-rate 6000000 /sdcard/demo.mp4
adb pull /sdcard/demo.mp4
adb shell rm /sdcard/demo.mp4
for /f "tokens=1-5 delims=:" %%d in ("%time%") do rename "demo.mp4" %%d-%%e-%%f.mp4
)
goto :End
=============================================================================
==============================================================================
:: MORE NOTES:
:: I know these empty labels at the beginning of the lines are not needed,
:: but they make syntax highlighting so much nicer in sublime!
:: If you want to disconnect from USB, you can connect ADB via wireless:
:: First, connect to USB as normal:
:: Get the Wi-Fi ip address. There are a couple ways to do this:
:: GET IP ADDRESS:
:: List the nics on the device. You can find the ip address for the wlan there.
adb shell netcfg
:: LISTEN ON A PORT:
:: Have the device listen on port 5555:
adb tcpip 5555
:: Disconnect the device from USB:
:: Connect ADB to the device via the IP address:
adb connect <device-ip-address>
:: Confirm you are connected:
adb devices
:: If the adb connection is ever lost:
:: 1 - Make sure that your host is still connected to the same network as your Android device.
:: 2 - Reconnect by executing the "adb connect" step again.
:: 3 - Or if that doesn't work, reset your adb host:
adb kill-server
:: and then start over from the beginning:
=============================================================================
==============================================================================
:End
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Using ID Recognition to Increase Security

One of our favorite things to do at LEAD is be a part of making the world a better place to live through our technologies. As an SDK company, we enjoy a much broader reach than our local community since we get to be a part of many projects and ideas that our customers are coming up with. For example, LEADTOOLS DICOM and PACS technologies aren’t serving just a couple local hospitals, but thousands of hospitals around the globe. That’s literally hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of X-rays, CTs, MRIs, and the like displayed by LEADTOOLS.

If you have been following the news at all the past several months, it’s been rather violent. In response, local governing bodies are starting to do more to increase security measures through printing and scanning ID cards for children and families that attend public events, or implementing stricter ID protocols at bars. Our sales and support teams have been getting a lot of questions about how LEADTOOLS can help these municipalities and socially aware developers with improving security.

In particular, LEADTOOLS Driver’s License Recognition is a big help and can also be customized to work with any identification card such as student and child IDs. A while back, we published a white paper on how to use this incredible feature to capture information from IDs which can be used in a wide gamut of applications including the new security ideas people across the country are hungry to implement.

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v19 Mobile App Demos Updated

Mobile OCR App in Action

If you’ve been keeping up with us, you are already aware of our recent update to our Android, iOS, and OS X development libraries (if not, go read it!). Shortly after that release, our developers have been rolling out updates to all of our mobile demo apps available on the App Store, Google Play, and Windows Store.

In general, here are some of the great benefits our mobile toolkits provide developers:

Unique Mobile Recognition Features

LEADTOOLS recognition technologies, such as OCR, barcode, check processing, ID recognition, and credit card recognition, eliminate the obstacles associated with mobile recognition and are the most robust and comprehensive solution available. Unique features, such as taking a picture on your phone or tablet and converting it to a searchable PDF or DOCX, set LEADTOOLS apart through high accuracy and reliability.

Most mobile apps start with the camera, which are a wild card due to the diversity in devices on today’s market. Ensuring the quality of the image or live capture feed is essential to the final accuracy of the text. LEADTOOLS understands this dilemma and includes many algorithms that account for problems encountered during image capture.

Most notably, LEADTOOLS includes special handling for fixed-focus digital cameras still found on many popular devices. This is an important feature for recognition technologies because fixed-focus lenses typically underperform at close range where pictures of documents, checks, credit cards, etc. are taken.

Additionally, LEADTOOLS includes automatic perspective deskew. This advanced preprocessing function helps eliminate the distortion present in the majority of mobile phone pictures where the phone isn’t held on the same plane as the document. LEADTOOLS finds the corners and gets all of the text back in alignment, resulting in much greater accuracy in both the text itself and its font characteristics.

Common Libraries for Easy Porting

Many mobile app developers are tasked with creating the same application for multiple platforms. LEADTOOLS is designed with that reality in mind and provides programming interfaces that closely resemble each other so that porting your Windows Phone application to iOS or Android is a smooth and hassle-free experience.

Mobile Store Approved

Though third-party SDKs don’t require their own screening or approval process in various mobile application stores, LEADTOOLS has published several of its demos as free application utilities to the App Store, Google Play, and Windows Store. They not only serve as useful tools for your device, but also demonstrate that using LEADTOOLS in your app can pass the stringent approval processes required by mobile device app stores.

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LEAD Technologies Releases LEADTOOLS Version 19 for Android and iOS/OS X

Do you develop mobile apps for iOS or Android? If so, read up because this is pretty exciting stuff. Even if you aren’t currently a mobile app developer, chances are you’ve thought about it and this might pique your interest even more. LEADTOOLS 19 has been released for Android, iOS, and OS X development platforms!

Below is a summary of the big stuff included in this release. We’ll go into more details on some of the features in the coming weeks, such as the improvements we made to the OCR and Barcode engines.

Upgraded OCR, Barcode, and Document Writers

Previously running strong on LEADTOOLS Version 18, this release brings the LEADTOOLS Android, iOS, and OS X development libraries up to Version 19. With Version 19, developers gain access to vastly upgraded OCR and Barcode technologies. Additionally, the Document Writers, which are used by the OCR engine to save document formats, have been updated to bolster format support, including the addition of PDF and DOCX formats. Using Version 19 OCR as a foundation, LEADTOOLS mobile developers now have access to LEADTOOLS Driver’s License Recognition and Passport Recognition technologies. LEAD’s expert image processing and recognition developers have also significantly improved the speed and accuracy of LEADTOOLS recognition technologies on devices with fixed-focus digital cameras still found on many popular devices. LEADTOOLS recognition technology eliminates the obstacles associated with mobile recognition and is the most robust and comprehensive solution available.

Credit Card Recognition

The new Credit Card Recognition SDK technology in LEADTOOLS provides a high-level framework to extract numerical data from credit cards. Utilizing the built-in camera on Android and iOS smart phones, developers can easily capture the credit card number and expiration date for use in their payment processing workflows. This new Credit Card API is a great addition for LEADTOOLS customers already utilizing existing recognition technologies such as MICR, OCR, and Driver’s License Recognition to build a full-scale payment processing solution that can handle a wide variety of input documents and cards.

Additional New Features for Mobile

With this upgrade, LEADTOOLS mobile SDKs have an even broader support for imaging features than ever before. The number of supported formats that can be loaded and saved has tripled from the previous version and now includes support for new raster, vector, and document formats such as CALS, DWG, PDF, and DOCX. The powerful and time-tested LEADTOOLS Annotation and Image Markup technology is now available for Android, iOS, and OS X development. By utilizing LEADTOOLS Annotation technology, developers can create mobile applications for users to markup images on a separate presentation layer or permanently change the image data. Be sure to try these and other mobile LEADTOOLS technologies by downloading the updated LEADTOOLS demo apps from the Apple App Store and Google Play.

New Swift-Compatible API for iOS and OS X

LEAD reworked its Objective-C libraries from the ground up for a significantly improved experience for developers using Swift to create iOS and OS X applications. By taking advantage of new Objective-C features, such as generics and nullability, developing applications with LEADTOOLS in Swift is easier and more natural. Enhancing the ability to program with Swift appeals to a wider audience of app developers, and helps current LEADTOOLS customers modernize their codebases.

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