Adobe has just launched a free iOS and Android app that allows users to capture high-quality images of anything they want to have a digital copy of. The new app is called Adobe Scan and works in a similar fashion to those already available on the market. While the user points their smartphone camera at the object they want to capture, be it a whiteboard, document, or presentation screen, the app will get to work cropping the image in the process to ensure only the object needed is stored.
What makes Adobe Scan different to many similar apps is that it integrates with Adobe Document Cloud, giving the added benefit of optical character recognition, which allows users to copy and paste directly from that document onto something else. The app itself is quite advanced underneath and uses a range of machine learning and image processing algorithms to make it run efficiently and effectively. “Our goal has been to create a digital document that’s as good as you would get from a flatbed scanner, or as good as the real document,” said Akhil Chugh, a senior project manager for Adobe Document Cloud. To be able to differentiate text from images, Adobe uses tree- and logistic regression-based classifiers and are part of Sensei, the internal ML framework and features of Adobe.
While the app is free and available for anyone to download, it does require the creation of a Document Cloud account, where scanned files will be saved automatically. You can still scan images without any network connection, but all OCR work, including text recognition, is handled via the cloud, which may not be appropriate for sensitive documents. So far Scan has proved to be pretty useful, but that’s not the end of it. The company has further plans for the app and has just made a large investment in handwriting and font recognition, so look out for any new features in those areas in the near future.
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