Combined Image/Optical Mark Reading (OMR) Systems
Basic Optical Mark Reading (OMR) Scanners, without imaging, can process and store data 'on the fly in real time’ whereby they have the ability to stop immediately an error is seen on a page, but can only pick up pencil/pen line marks or filled in bubbles in pre-determined areas on a page. On the other hand, a standard image scanner will batch process first and then separately recognise and verify the data on each page and display any faults found on a sheet ready for correction where, when compared to OMR, an additional step is required which slows the process down but with the added bonus of storing an image of the form scanned.
This latest developments in the scanner arena has seen the introduction of combined Image/OMR systems that integrates Image with OMR thus allowing the scanner to continue to process and store data 'on the fly in real time’ but also take an image of the form as it is scanned. This can be used, for instance, for audit and dispute purposes so that clients undertaking high stakes examinations can find this versatility very useful, insofar that it negates the problem of having to search and find sheets for a candidate should there be a dispute over the marks obtained. Additionally, it means that combined Image/OMR systems can also undertake Optical Charater Recognition (OCR - Machine Print such as an MS Word document), Intelligent Charater Recognition (ICR - Handprint similar to filling in a passport or driving licence application) and Barcodes (normally Type 39, Type 2 of 5 or QR Codes) with the OMR processing is still undertaken in 'real time'mode. This means that these scanner types offer the best of both technology types (Image and OMR) with speeds ranging from several hundred sheets per hour to thousands of sheets per hour, normally priced according to scanner speed and facilities offered.