Card scanning is a vital part of any industry today as it enables us to capture vital information as well as complete ID images from a wide variety of media. This data can then be utilized for accurate record keeping as well as to streamline and optimize data entry during visitor registration. With the advancement in technology, most of the latest cards are created with holograms which may affect the accuracy and efficiency of card scanning. At Card Scanning Solutions (CSSN Inc.), we understand this challenge and so we want to offer some solutions and tips which may assist you in scanning holograms effectively.
What is a hologram?
Let’s start by understanding what a hologram is. A hologram is an advanced form of photography that allows an image to be recorded in three dimensions. This means that as opposed to 3D and virtual reality on a 2D computer screen, a hologram appears to stand out as a true image in three dimensions that does not simulate image depth or require specific material to be viewed. Holograms were originally created as a security enforcement tool as it is not possible to duplicate a hologram with a scanner or a color photocopying machine and it is also not possible to manufacture or copy a hologram through standard printing processes. Holograms are therefore an effective solution for printing secured badges and cards such as credit cards, ID cards, driver’s licenses, medical cards and more.
Here are a few examples of cards that have holograms.
So how do holograms affect scanning?
Card Scanning Solutions utilizes a technology called Optical Character Recognition (OCR) which is the process of converting data from scanned documents into computer-editable text that can be populated into other applications. When you scan a document, you get an image of the text. Letters are made of pixels that when placed together form a picture of the text. This text however is not editable and OCR technology is able to analyze the image and convert it to editable text based on the patterns of the pixels in the image. Once this is done, the converted text is then exported and can be used in business applications and databases.
With the new designs of cards, the holograms often obstruct the text that the OCR technology is attempting to decipher. This makes it hard for the text on the card to be read therefore decreasing the accuracy of the scanning outcome.
Tips & Solutions for Effective Hologram Scanning
CSSN offers high-level DSP (digital signal processing) algorithms which are able to filter and clean tarnished images received from an ID scanner, such as driver license images with non-uniform background colors and text that are covered with stamps and holograms. However, if a hologram completely covers text, then the accuracy will significantly decrease.
With years of experience in image processing, CSSN has found the following to be effective in scanning cards with holograms more accurately:
- For customers who have a ScanShell® scanner such as the ScanShell® 800DXN A6 duplex card scanner, try placing the card vertically when you want to scan the data on the card. This has been found to be more effective in extracting the data accurately despite possible interference from the hologram.
- If you are deciding on purchasing a new hardware device, the SnapShell® scanner is a better option to consider as it helps remove the hologram layer in order to extract the information underneath. At CSSN, we encourage users who experience OCR problems with holograms on newer ID cards and driver licenses to consider upgrading to a SnapShell® OCR ID reader model to ensure greater accuracy in scanning.
- If you own or are perhaps planning on purchasing a duplex scanner, this type of scanner will assist in extracting accurate data from cards that have holograms as you are able to incorporate 2D barcode scanning which can be utilized as a backup to achieve more accurate results. At CSSN, we offer a wide range of cutting edge duplex scanners such as the ScanShell® 3100DN portable duplex scanner which is the ideal solution for scanning insurance cards, driver licenses, ID cards, passports, photos, business cards, bank checks, full letter, legal sized documents and even embossed cards.
As technology progresses and cards are upgraded and adapted to meet the demands of our advancing society, CSSN has developed scanning solutions which are able to address these changes and to provide top quality scanning solutions. From our cutting edge scanning software to our state-of-the-art hardware, we at CSSN understand how holograms can impact the accuracy and efficiency of the scanning outcome. For this reason, we offer our customers a variety of tips and scanning solutions which will enable them to address the accuracy and integrity of scanned documents. Creating accurate electronic records or being able to scan any media is simple with CSSN so let us assist you with all your scanning requirements both at home and at your business.