Following the footsteps of Google, Microsoft has added optical character recognition (OCR) to images stored on its SkyDrive cloud storage service. With this new SkyDrive update, the online OCR tool powered by Bing will automatically run on photos that you send to SkyDrive so you can instantly see the extracted text whenever you view your photos on SkyDrive.com.
“When you take photos with your Windows Phone (with auto-upload turned on) today, we send them to your SkyDrive camera roll folder. With this new SkyDrive release, our OCR tool will automatically run on your camera roll photos so you can instantly see the extracted text whenever you view your photos on SkyDrive.com,” Microsoft wrote in a blog post.
The text will be shown in the interface for viewing the images within SkyDrive, and can be copied and pasted elsewhere.
This feature can be useful when people use camera phones to take photos of signs, maps, business cards, or other textual subjects they might want to refer to later. The OCR tool is currently available in English, Portuguese, Spanish, French, and German, and should have been rolled out to all users by now.