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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Push Mode Support Added to MPEG-2 Transport Stream Demultiplexer

MPEG-2 Transport Stream is a significant feature in our Multimedia offering and covers a wide variety of industries and applications including UAV, digital television, and security. Today, we published an update that includes the ability to use push mode to capture and play from devices sending hardware-compressed MPEG-2 Transport Streams. This heavily requested feature gives developers excellent performance when interfacing with modern MPEG-2 Transport cameras and capture devices since the source stream can go directly to the LEADTOOLS MPEG-2 Transport Demultiplexer rather than forcing decompression or being limited to completed .m2ts files.

Additional Multimedia Updates

In addition to MPEG-2 Transport Stream, here are few more notable updates in today’s Multimedia Release:

  • Windows 10 DVD support
  • Added support for Geovision security cameras
  • Improved playback of MXF files generated by Sony Cameras
  • More efficient capture and preview syncing from compressed capture devices

These updates are freely available to all registered LEADTOOLS Version 19 and annual maintenance customers. To get it, visit the Multimedia download page.

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Top 10 Reasons to Use an Imaging SDK

After being in this industry for a while, it’s always fun when new hires and college recruits come in with varying degrees of experience. Some are well-versed in the SDK world, while others are dead-set on using notepad and doing everything from scratch. This gave us the idea to come up with 10 reasons to use an imaging SDK, or even just an SDK in general. So here they are in a semi-particular order, because many of them build off of or hinge upon the first two:

  1. Save time. Many features found in imaging SDKs such as OCR, Barcode, Forms, DICOM, PACS, etc. would take years to develop on your own. Using an SDK can shorten your development life cycle to less than a month.
  2. Save money. In the business world, most of us don’t have the luxury of waiting years to develop a product. The time saved by using an SDK can easily recoup the development costs since you can start selling your product much earlier.
  3. Two heads are better than one. SDKs let you borrow from another developer’s expertise so you can focus on yours.
  4. Nothing new under the sun. No sign of disrespect, but your project or something similar to it has probably been done before. A well-respected SDK with a wide user-base has valuable insight and experience that could help you with more than just calling its functions.
  5. Dependable libraries have already gone through the wringer. This is especially true for established commercial libraries and oftentimes less for open-source. When an SDK is that company’s line of business, you can trust that they have tested it and ensured its quality across a wide variety of platforms, images, and scenarios.
  6. Expand your customer base. SDKs can give you a greater confidence in bidding on more diverse projects, tapping in to additional revenue sources.
  7. Easy cure for feature creep. Usually looked upon as a negative in the development process, feature creep can be handled with grace and ease with the right SDK. Impress your bosses and clients with how fast you can go with the flow and expand your project’s scope.
  8. Easy to find help. The more popular an SDK is, the easier it will be to find help using it. This can be directly through that SDK’s customer service, 3rd party forums, blogs, or even bringing in contract work for your project.
  9. Compliance. Ever looked through the specifications for a file format? How about DICOM? Beyond the baseline complications of decoding and encoding information correctly, vertical markets such as health care and government require a high level of security and compliance that an SDK will help navigate and keep your product in line with.
  10. Fun! This may be more subjective and personality-dependent, but I think the vast majority of us find great satisfaction in trying new things and creating a variety of projects. Rather than working on one thing for an extended time, using SDK can open up the door to completing many different projects over the course of your programming career.

If we’ve somehow convinced you in this post, or if you were already attune to the benefits of using an imaging SDK, you can take a deeper look and learn why you should choose LEADTOOLS as your imaging SDK provider.

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