Alternatives to Optical Character Recognition
As a starting point, OTA examined possible alternatives to optical character recognition technology for postal automation.
OTA concluded that the strongest competition to postal automation is likely to come from electronic mail. If a significant portion of the paper-based mainstream were to divert to either Generation II (electronic input-hardcopy output) or Generation [11
(electronic input and output) electronic mail, then the need for optical character recognition technology would be reduced. However, in a previous (1982) study of electronic mail and message systems, OTA found that, even under very optimistic assumptions about growth of electronic mail, there most likely will be a significant residual volume of paper mail at least through the year 2000.
are likely to
at least 10 to
is a window
for further use
Therefore, while electronic mail is a strong competitor of postal automation, the
Some leaders in the optical character recognition industry already recognize that
“the current information
information revolution promises to replace the traditional
media on which OCR provides a
bridge between the Paper Age and. the [formation Age. It
is a transitional system which (electronic) Information Age
matures, the role of OCR promises to with increased opportunities before the
diminish.... The irony is that electronic axe falls” (Schantz,
will be p.?).