Best ID Scanner Technologies: Device-Readable Vs OCR

ID scanning items can be divided into two basic teams: machine readable scanners and optical scanners. Device-readable scanners decode information saved electronically in a barcode or magnetic stripe and exhibit the information in an effortless to read structure. Optical scanners, generally referred to as optical character recognition (OCR) scanners, get an graphic of the card and use software program to translate the photograph into computer textual content. In essence, OCR scanners read the card as if they were a human. Device-readable barcode and magnetic stripe scanners are drastically a lot more precise, more quickly and greater at assisting to detect bogus IDs than OCR ID scanners.


Given that machine-readable ID scanners read through the information encoded on the barcode and magnetic stripe of an identification card, they are a hundred% exact. They show the actual details programmed on the card, like birthday, card expiration, deal with, license number, and many others. They use the beginning date to compute and show the cardholder’s age, and the card expiration day to determine the card’s standing. Importantly, they file the scan info, delivering a reliable digital file of age verification. Business house owners can relaxation assured that their info is a hundred% precise in situation of a liquor authority raid or company investigation.

On the opposite, OCR scanners are only 98% correct. Simply because they rely upon application to translate an picture of the card instead than reading the encoded info, characters are typically misread and stored incorrectly. Despite the fact that ninety eight% would seem like a high share, 1 in fifty scans has a miscalculation somewhere in the info. It could be a wrong street number, a undesirable license amount, or an incorrect birth day. Imprecise information can produce an incorrect age calculation (if it reads 1969 as an alternative of 1989), or render deal with data ineffective for mailing lists. This variety of imprecision can make the scan totally worthless in an affirmative defense from age verification violations.

For a item whose purpose is defending organization owners from age verification violations, the inaccuracy of OCR ID scanners is intolerable.


In addition to increased precision, device-readable scanners are also more quickly than OCR viewers. The decoding of details from a barcode or magnetic stripe is practically instantaneous. Common scans take around one second to compute and document. OCR scans just take upwards of five seconds to comprehensive because of the elevated laptop processing essential to interpret the optical scan.

This tiny big difference in scan throughput time can have a huge effect on ID scanning apps. Imagine a line of a hundred buyers ready to get into a concert that requires them to be 18 many years of age. Let’s assume it normally takes a bouncer 20 seconds to get an ID card from every patron no matter of the kind of ID scanner he is making use of. If the bouncer ended up utilizing an OCR scanner, it would get about forty two minutes to check the IDs of everybody in the line. It would take the exact same bouncer only 35 minutes to validate the very same line of customers with a barcode or magnetic stripe ID scanner (a cost savings of 7 minutes). If the line ended up one,000 men and women, the barcode/magnetic stripe reader would save approximately one hour and 10 minutes. This would boost the pleasure of the client and decrease the payroll fees of the enterprise.

Detection of Phony IDs

The most important aspect in detecting fake IDs is an alert operator, and no machine is a hundred% successful in detecting fraudulent IDs. That becoming stated, machine-readable ID scanners offer a huge advantage in excess of OCR scanners in the combat from phony IDs.

The generation of phony IDs is as dependent on economics as any legitimate business. ID card printers price about $750 while magnetic stripe and barcode encoding technology provides even far more substantial price. Many individuals that create fake IDs basically can’t manage the far more high-priced technologies required to encode magnetic stripes or barcodes. As a result, phony IDs are often printed on stock ID playing cards with generic or blank data encoding.

Device-readable ID checkers permit the operator to evaluate the information stored electronically on the ID with the information printed on the card. Fake IDs will often have a mismatch in two sets of data. For illustration, the identify printed on the front of the card may read through Charlotte Blake, whilst the encoded data saved in the magnetic stripe may possibly go through John Smith. IRISH FAKE DRIVING LICENCE is a distinct indication that the ID is a phony. Whilst the machine alone are not able to assess the printed information to the encoded info, it gives a vital resource for any individual trying to verify the authenticity of an ID.

Standard OCR scanners do not access the information saved electronically on ID playing cards. This gets rid of all likelihood of evaluating the printed information to the encoded details, and fundamentally renders an OCR ID scanner the equivalent of a glorified copying machine. At ideal, OCR scanners give a reduced-good quality information entry technique. There are some a lot more pricey programs which can scan equally sides of the motorists license, study the 2nd barcode (but usually not the magnetic stripe) and then compare the knowledge fields, but these programs are normally twice as costly, 2 times as slow and not suited for retail programs.

Organization Card Scanners have the advantage of storing an impression of the ID card, which indicates they can conserve the cardholder image. This is will help establish which ID was presented when serving age delicate products. Even so, if there is a video surveillance program digital camera in use when looking through the equipment-readable barcode, then most systems date/time stamp the reads so a retailer can time stamp match the movie to the equipment-readable reads.


The key disadvantages of OCR ID scanning technologies are lower precision, slow velocity and incapacity to read through encoded info to detect bogus IDs. The good news is for buyers, a more robust age verification instrument exists. Equipment-readable barcode and magnetic stripe ID scanners are 100% exact, examine IDs virtually instantaneously, and support to detect phony IDs.

If you are a organization owner searching for a way to verify customer age, which answer would you pick? The barcode/magnetic stripe reader that speeds by way of long traces, aids pick out bogus IDs, and provides a hundred% precision? Or the OCR ID scanner that misreads one in fifty cards? Make the wise choice when picking an ID scanner to defend your enterprise, and decide on a equipment-readable ID scanner.