Difference between Optical Mark Reader and Optical Character Reader? Is Optical Mark Reader an Input Device?

The progress in the technology domain is developing at a rapid speed. Every day comes up with a new surprise in the form of inventions. Earlier work was manual and sometimes consists of a lot of errors and takes a lot of time in the completion of the project. Technology is offering us a hassle-free life. As far as education is concerned, it is witnessing many changes till now. Many changes are taking place to enhance the process of learning. In the digital era, education is moved online. It is also making the process transparent and authentic. 

Tab containing graphics which is detecting difference between Optical Mark Reader and Optical Character Reader

Many universities and institutes are relying on the OMR-based examination. It is easy for them to gather data and for students, it will help them to improve their decision-making skills. Many government universities are relying on this form of examination as it is authentic. After the covid-19 pandemic, CBSE introduced new guidelines for conducting OMR-based exams. This led to an increase in demand for OMR software in the market. Schools and colleges are skeptical about using the software as it is new. OMR is easy to use and does not require an additional workforce to design, print, and scan OMR sheets.

There is a misconception amongst the minds of the people that OMR and OCR are similar, although, there is a slight difference between Optical Mark Reader and Optical Character Reader. 

Difference between Optical Mark Reader and Optical Character Reader

OCR and OMR technology in OMR are utilized to convert images to a readable format on the computer. Both OCR and OMR consist of hardware and software components. The scanner does the image reading which interprets it into a digital format. The OCR system consists of optical character recognition software, while the OMR system consists of an optical mark recognition reader, scanner, and software. OCR is mainly used in the banking industry, legal industry as well as health care. Whereas OMR technology is utilized in ballots, educational tests, surveys, and reports. It scans the document and reads the marks automatically. There are also many other basic difference between optical mark reader and optical character reader.

Optical mark reader generate a large amount of data with less human intervention. It is fast, reliable, and cost-effective. Also, it can handle a large amount of data. It can read a thousand sheets in less time and generate a large amount of data. OCR generates a large amount of data in digital format which can be altered by a word processor. It generates few errors as compared to manual data entry which is saving time and money. It can read 420 characters in a second with an accuracy of 98 percent. 

Is Optical Mark Reader an Input Device?

Yes, Optical Mark Reader is an Input Device. Let’s first understand difference between Input Device and Output Device.

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In computer world, an input devices are such type of devices which are generally used to send information, data and control signals to a computer system for processing. Some of the examples of input devices are Keyboards, Scanners, Cameras, Mouse, Microphones, Joysticks etc. Whereas an output devices are such type of computer hardware or devices which converts those piece of information or data into a human-perceptible form. Output devices process the raw input data which are entered in the computer through an input device. Some of the examples of Output devices are Monitor, Printer, Projector, Speaker etc.

We all know, OMR is gathering information from examinee by recognizing marks or filled bubbles on a document (OMR Sheets) by them. The OMR Sheet cannot be not considered as an input device. However, Optical Mark Readers that reads those OMR Sheets, can be considered as an Input Device since it is sending data (input) to the computer for processing and for generating results.

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