Magnetic Ink Character Recognition (MICR) : Magnetic Ink Character Recognition (MICR) MICR is generally only used in banks as the magnetic ink and the reader are quite expensive. MICR is a lot faster than typing data manually into a computer.
300 cheques can be processed every minute with 100% accuracy using MICR, which makes banks faster and more efficient.
The ink used in MICR contains magnetised iron particles, which prevents people changing bank details and forgery.
Optical Mark Reader (OMR) : Optical Mark Reader (OMR) One of the most common uses for OMR is the National Lottery.
Another common use are nationwide examinations that collect a lot of data. The OMR forms are scanned with a special machine (the OMR) which detects the dark pen or pencil by reflecting light onto it. The pen or pencil reflects less light than the paper so the marks are detected.
OMR is a very fast way of processing lots of data into a computer
The OMR can misread data if the blocks are not filled in correctly, but that rarely happens.
Optical Character Recognition (OCR) : Optical Character Recognition (OCR) OCR is used in sorting offices to automatically recognise postcodes. The OCR software is used with a scanner to edit pieces of text that are either printed or written out.
The scanner scans the text as a picture and the OCR software changes the format of the picture so that it can be edited as text using a word processing software.
OCR software is around 95% accurate, but needs to be checked manually because it can make errors, especially with bad handwriting.
Barcode and Reader : Barcode and Reader Barcodes and readers are mainly used in shops to make it easier to update the prices of their products. Barcode readers work by shining a visible red light onto the barcode.
The barcode reflects the light back into the barcode reader, which detects the reflected light.
The barcode reader can distinguish between different barcodes because of the different amounts of light reflected back by the black and white lines.
The reader changes the reflected light into digital data that is interpreted by a computer to identify anything about the product that is on the database.
Magnetic Strip and Reader : Magnetic Strip and Reader Magnetic strips are normally used for storing information on the back of most credit cards, loyalty cards, membership cards etc. The magnetic strip can hold up to 60 characters, such as name and account details.
These characters are stored magnetically, so can be deleted accidentally by a strong magnetic current.
The data is read by swiping it through a reader, which sends the data digitally to a computer which shows the data stored on the strip.