Image Recognition Integrated Systems
(I.R.I.S.), a company that specializes in Optical Character Recognition (OCR) and scanning technologies, has released a Mac OS X version of their IRISPen II. IRISPen II is a hardware-software combination that lets you scan printed text, figures, bar codes and handwritten numbers and instantaneously input them into any Mac application, such as word processors, spreadsheets, e-mail, online databases and accounting programs.
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The software uses an OCR engine based on PCR-II (Pen Character Recognition) technology and offers UBS connectivity. The pen scanner is available in a US$129.99 Standard version, which reads text and figures, and the $199.99 Executive version, which reads text, figures, hand printed numbers, barcodes and includes a text-to-speech module.
The IRISPen II solution recognizes 91 languages, gray level documents and bitmap documents. The software update offers a multi-line mode the purportedly influences the natural character of Text-to-Speech. With the Text-to-Speech Module (for speech synthesis), the Read and Speak option allows clear and natural audio checking of the recognized text, according to company spokesperson Wendy Behn.
The IRISPen II can even read text and bar codes simultaneously. It has a scanning speed up to 3.12 inches per second and a recognition speed up to 1,000 characters per second.
It requires a Power Mac G3 or higher with Mac OS 9.x or Mac OS X, 50MB of free hard disk space, and 32MB of free RAM, and QuickTime 4.0 or better. Options include business card software and a business card scanner add-on.