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Smart Engines ID document scanning tech receives US patent

Categories Biometric R&D  |  Biometrics News
Smart Engines ID document scanning tech receives US patent

Smart Engines has been granted a U.S. patent for a document scanning algorithm that uses smartphone video cameras, the company announced in a statement. Called weighted integration, this technology is already in an array of Smart Engine SDKs.

Smart Engines SDK is based on the weighted integration method for scanning text in a video stream that the company’s scientists invented in 2015. It is used in the Smart ID Engine to scan ID documents, the Smart Code Engine to scan QR codes and credit cards, and the Smart Document Engine to scan business documents.

The scanning and optical character recognition (OCR) system takes advantage of a smartphones’ streaming capacity. The new method described in the patent evaluates incoming frames from a video stream and selects the best 50 percent of frames based on image focus accuracy and recognition scores. It assigns a weight to each character based on the criteria.

If part of a field for a character were obscured by a finger, the weight of the character would be closer to zero, while a clearly visible character would have a value closer to one. Once the weights are assigned, the result of the video stream analysis is reconstructed using the new algorithm. This method, referred to as weighted integration, improves document scanning quality.

This method of per-character weighting improves recognition accuracy in cases where the ID document is captured at an angle, with poor lighting, in dark environments, or with glare. “Per-character weighting also has a positive impact on the recognition result when the document contains long, continuous lines – for example, a machine-readable zone,” says Smart Engine CEO Vladimir Arlazarov.

The technology also uses GreenOCR character recognition technology, which minimizes energy consumption while enabling high speed and quality. One instance of recognition uses the energy equivalent to 0.0001g of CO2. Planting one hectare of oak forest will offset the ecological damage caused by all the recognitions for the foreseeable future, the company says.

In May, the company successfully went carbon neutral by planting 3,500 English Oak seedlings in the Biosphere Reserve. The English Oak is known to be one of the most carbon-absorbing trees. One hectare of oak forest can absorb up to 212 tonnes of carbon over the course of 50 years.

“On the one hand, at the level of algorithms, we are constantly reducing computational complexity and thus energy consumption. On the other hand, we plant trees to offset our carbon footprint,” says Arlazarov.

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