Mobile Capture

Mobile-enabling business processes and workforces has become a necessity to stay competitive in today's market. This is driven in no small part by three major benefits:

  • More efficient and responsive Customer Relationship Management
  • Optimised utilisation and efficiency of the workforce
  • Faster end-to-end cycle times for critical business processes

To date the move towards mobile-enabling business processes has largely stayed clear of one of the core areas of operation for most businesses and organisations, namely the processing of physical documents. With most mobile phones now equipped with cameras that on the face of it should be capable of producing reasonable images, it might seem surprising that solutions in this area have been largely constrained to the demo rooms and the rare highly custom solution. However there are some very good reasons why this has been the case to date, amongst these:

  • Variable image quality because of different camera types, resolution and camera software
  • Integration constraints: mobile phones usually only support JPEG format images, which is not ideal for scanning; there are varying and often limited levels of accessibility to camera functions programmatically.
  • Uncontrolled capture environment: with variable lighting, paper not being flattened and varying shooting angle

So what has changed? 

Significant advances have been made in the recent past in two main areas:

  • Smartphones: the explosion in smartphone numbers means there are now significantly more devices with right combination of camera, operating system, programmability and processing power to enable the building of richer and more interactive device-based functionality
  • Image processing technology: given the challenging imaging environment of capturing a document with a mobile camera, it is not surprising that solutions largely based on the repackaging of image processing designed for scanned documents struggled to reach the automation and quality levels expected in an enterprise environment.  However Focal Point has been at the forefront of developing image processing designed with this challenging environment in mind.  Our technology is able to deal with the challenges of camera angle, folded or crumpled documents, variable lighting conditions and background.

The above changes combined with well-conceived and appropriately connected processes make mobile capture (the acquisition and subsequent processing of documents directly from a mobile device) a viable business solution today.  Mobile capture Is the natural next step in the evolution from static and centralised offices and processes to the mobile, agile and distributed workforce and infrastructure necessary in this day and age.

With Focal Point's Image Analysis SDK you can now scan-enable your enterprise mobile applications and bring your documents into your business process at the earliest possible opportunity using nothing more than the mobile phone.