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A light-weight text image processing method for handheld embedded cameras

Pilu, Maurizio; Pollard, Stephen

HPL-2002-82

Keyword(s): document imaging; image processing; PDAs; cameras

Abstract: In the past few years we have witnessed the migration of cheap imaging devices into portable and mobile computing appliances such as PDAs and mobile phones. As these devices become ever more powerful in terms of processor speed and memory, new exciting applications and uses are being developed. A particularly useful one is the casual capture of text images for faxing, note taking, OCR, etcetera. This paper describes the image processing pipeline used to enhance images of text captured by a hand-held low-resolution camera, and a fast text extraction method. The main advantages of the approach are its inherent lightweight structure, speed and relative robustness under poor lighting and focus conditions. The computational efficiency (and a careful implementation) of the approach has allowed its deployment in an interactive-time text capture and foreign-text translation demo on a PDA with a VGA camera attachment. Notes:

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