Microsoft Azure AI Vision API

Azure AI Vision is a unified service that offers innovative computer vision capabilities. Give your apps the ability to analyze images, read text, and detect faces with prebuilt image tagging, text extraction with optical character recognition (OCR), and responsible facial recognition. Incorporate vision features into your projects with no machine learning experience required.

Azure AI is not a “ready-to-use” product. It requires programing skills, experience with Azure cloud services, and decent amount of coding to implement it into your systems, especially once you add user interfaces for scanning and data validation.

Simple Software developers have the necessary skills and experience to integrate Azure AI into your custom applications. Contact us or click the Request a Quote button to get a proposal for your custom application development project.

Description

Azure AI Vision is a unified service that offers innovative computer vision capabilities. Give your apps the ability to analyze images, read text, and detect faces with prebuilt image tagging, text extraction with optical character recognition (OCR), and responsible facial recognition. Incorporate vision features into your projects with no machine learning experience required.

OCR – Optical Character Recognition

OCR or Optical Character Recognition is also referred to as text recognition or text extraction. Machine-learning-based OCR techniques allow you to extract printed or handwritten text from images such as posters, street signs and product labels, as well as from documents like articles, reports, forms, and invoices. The text is typically extracted as words, text lines, and paragraphs or text blocks, enabling access to digital version of the scanned text. This eliminates or significantly reduces the need for manual data entry.

Intelligent Document Processing (IDP) uses OCR as its foundational technology to additionally extract structure, relationships, key-values, entities, and other document-centric insights with an advanced machine-learning based AI service like Document Intelligence. Document Intelligence includes a document-optimized version of Read as its OCR engine while delegating to other models for higher-end insights. If you are extracting text from scanned and digital documents, use Document Intelligence Read OCR.

OCR engine

Microsoft’s Read OCR engine is composed of multiple advanced machine-learning based models supporting global languages. It can extract printed and handwritten text including mixed languages and writing styles. Read is available as cloud service and on-premises container for deployment flexibility. With the latest preview, it’s also available as a synchronous API for single, non-document, image-only scenarios with performance enhancements that make it easier to implement OCR-assisted user experiences.

OCR common features

The Read OCR model is available in Azure AI Vision and Document Intelligence with common baseline capabilities while optimizing for respective scenarios. The following list summarizes the common features:

  • Printed and handwritten text extraction in supported languages
  • Pages, text lines and words with location and confidence scores
  • Support for mixed languages, mixed mode (print and handwritten)
  • Available as Distroless Docker container for on-premises deployment

Use the OCR cloud APIs or deploy on-premises

The cloud APIs are the preferred option for most customers because of their ease of integration and fast productivity out of the box. Azure and the Azure AI Vision service handle scale, performance, data security, and compliance needs while you focus on meeting your customers’ needs.

For on-premises deployment, the Read Docker container enables you to deploy the Azure AI Vision v3.2 generally available OCR capabilities in your own local environment. Containers are great for specific security and data governance requirements.

OCR data privacy and security

As with all of the Azure AI services, developers using the Azure AI Vision service should be aware of Microsoft’s policies on customer data.

Go to Top