Heralding the OCR revolution

Heralding the OCR revolution

Mark Inman reviews Sharp’s new MX-AP14 – a simple and cost-effective piece of kit that creates searchable electronic files from scanned documents – direct from your MFP.
There’s nothing new about Optical Character Recognition (OCR) technology. In fact, it’s been around since the 70s, and, today, there are certainly some great products out there. For the businesses that use them, the ability to create fully searchable electronic documents from paper originals can and often is an invaluable tool; it saves untold hours searching through paperwork and, consequently, increases productivity.

But, for many SME’s, there have traditionally been several fundamental barriers:

  • Price – you’re looking at a substantial initial investment, as well as installation and user-licensing costs.
  • Support – if you don’t have an in-house IT team, the idea of calling in third-party help for installation & configuration and then being left to get to grips with the new software, is off-putting.

However, it looks like Sharp is about to change all that. The MX-AP14 is a neat bit of hardware that bolts on to your existing Sharp MFP. It can be installed quickly and in many instances you can be up and running in under an hour. It’s a one-off cost, and there’s no complicated software. And better still, it’s licensed per machine – not per user.

OK, so it doesn’t have some of the smarter features of its software-based competitors, but it does recognise 19 European languages (as well as Japanese), and files are saved in a searchable PDF file format. And with a price tag of a few hundred pounds, rather than thousands, it should be a no-brain purchase for all kinds of businesses.
To learn more about the Sharp MS-AP14 please contact us on 01892 664155.