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Use a mobile phone's camera to read telephone numbers
  (+17, -1)(+17, -1)
(+17, -1)
  [vote for,

To take a phone number from a billboard or business card, simply photograph it. OCR software on the phone searches for the phone number and gives you the option to call it immediately or store it.
david_scothern, Nov 11 2004

And capture criminals http://www.halfbake...ed_20Flash_20Moment
[theircompetitor, Nov 12 2004]

Put a VisCode on the billboard? http://www.halfbakery.com/idea/VisCode
The OCR on a VisCode would be clear as a bell. (Or a Bell, inc.?) [not_only_but_also, Nov 16 2004]

Bar Codes http://www.gizmodo....ants-service-026198
Well, they've done it, D. [contracts, Nov 23 2004]

baked, by LG http://www.engadget...y/1234000893021931/
a phone with OCR (and apparently not the first) [neilp, Nov 30 2004]


       That's almost sensible and logical.
hippo, Nov 11 2004

       That, and a few more features like it might convince me to get a camera phone. [+]   

       (wish it had a more informative title, though)
st3f, Nov 11 2004

       [david_scothern] this is a fine, fine idea, and entirely bakeable. General ocr would be handy to either email or SMS content.
neilp, Nov 11 2004

       [drone employee of major telecoms corp dutifully takes note] [+]
DocBrown, Nov 11 2004

       excellent. of course the police will be catching your registration plate on their mobiles pretty much after that. I said that like it was a bad thing!
po, Nov 11 2004

       I have moral objections to your cameraphone. I'm going to have to confiscate it, and smash it. (Oh, and a tenuous [+] for the idea - - that would have to be some *damn* dynamic OCR software. Modern OCR engines still have difficulty with output even from scanners with a clear, flat image, scanned slowly, head-on, and under bright light.)
contracts, Nov 11 2004

       [contracts] there's no reason why the OCR s/w need actually be on the device - it could send the picture away to an OCR webservice and use the response.
In fact.. if it could do this it might be useful for those mapping/ 'where the hell am I ' sites.
neilp, Nov 12 2004

       You're completely right, [neilp], except for the completely wrong part. What software would they use? There isn't OCR available that is good enough. (Regardless, I bunned the idea, btw . . . it remains feasible. Perhaps if the images are sent to India, translated into something that resembles numerals.)
contracts, Nov 12 2004

       Maybe the phone number could be stored in one (or two) of my VisCodes? (See link)   

       The OCR on a VisCode would be much clearer than text/digits.   

not_only_but_also, Nov 16 2004

       Wow! See the link. [David], they've got your oven tapped.
contracts, Nov 23 2004

       it seems this is now baked (see link).
neilp, Nov 30 2004


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