Ideal ID Scanner Technologies: Machine-Readable Vs OCR

ID scanning goods can be divided into two standard groups: machine readable scanners and optical scanners. Machine-readable scanners decode details saved electronically in a barcode or magnetic stripe and exhibit the info in an straightforward to read through format. Optical scanners, typically referred to as optical character recognition (OCR) scanners, take an image of the card and use software to translate the picture into computer text. Basically, OCR scanners study the card as if they ended up a human. Equipment-readable barcode and magnetic stripe scanners are substantially much more precise, faster and much better at assisting to detect bogus IDs than OCR ID scanners.


Since machine-readable ID scanners read through the data encoded on the barcode and magnetic stripe of an identification card, they are a hundred% correct. They screen the exact info programmed on the card, such as birthday, card expiration, deal with, license number, etc. They use the birth date to estimate and exhibit the cardholder’s age, and the card expiration day to determine the card’s standing. Importantly, they report the scan details, offering a reputable digital file of age verification. Enterprise house owners can relaxation confident that their data is 100% precise in situation of a liquor authority raid or company investigation.

On the contrary, OCR scanners are only 98% precise. Because they count on computer software to translate an graphic of the card relatively than reading through the encoded data, characters are frequently misinterpret and stored incorrectly. Even though 98% would seem like a higher proportion, 1 in 50 scans has a mistake somewhere in the data. It could be a wrong road quantity, a bad license quantity, or an incorrect birth date. Imprecise info can make an incorrect age calculation (if it reads 1969 as an alternative of 1989), or render tackle info ineffective for mailing lists. This assortment of imprecision can make the scan fully useless in an affirmative defense from age verification violations.

For a item whose function is defending enterprise homeowners from age verification violations, the inaccuracy of OCR ID scanners is intolerable.


In addition to greater accuracy, equipment-readable scanners are also faster than OCR readers. The decoding of data from a barcode or magnetic stripe is practically instantaneous. Typical scans just take approximately 1 2nd to compute and document. OCR scans take upwards of five seconds to total simply because of the elevated personal computer processing required to interpret the optical scan.

This little variation in scan throughput time can have a massive affect on ID scanning purposes. Imagine a line of 100 customers waiting to get into a concert that requires them to be 18 years of age. Let us believe it normally takes a bouncer twenty seconds to get an ID card from every patron irrespective of the kind of ID scanner he is using. If the bouncer had been utilizing an OCR scanner, it would consider about 42 minutes to check out the IDs of everyone in the line. It would take the exact same bouncer only 35 minutes to verify the same line of buyers with a barcode or magnetic stripe ID scanner (a financial savings of seven minutes). If the line have been one,000 people, the barcode/magnetic stripe reader would preserve about one hour and ten minutes. This would enhance the gratification of the client and decrease the payroll charges of the company.

Detection of Faux IDs

The most critical issue in detecting faux IDs is an alert operator, and no equipment is one hundred% effective in detecting fraudulent IDs. That becoming stated, machine-readable ID scanners supply a massive edge in excess of OCR scanners in the struggle against faux IDs.

The manufacturing of fake IDs is as dependent upon economics as any genuine organization. ID card printers price about $750 while magnetic stripe and barcode encoding technology provides even more considerable value. A lot of men and women that create phony IDs merely are not able to pay for the more costly engineering necessary to encode magnetic stripes or barcodes. As a result, phony IDs are typically printed on stock ID playing cards with generic or blank information encoding.

idgod -readable ID checkers permit the operator to examine the data stored electronically on the ID with the information printed on the card. Fake IDs will often have a mismatch in two sets of info. For case in point, the identify printed on the entrance of the card may possibly read Charlotte Blake, although the encoded knowledge stored in the magnetic stripe may go through John Smith. This is a distinct indication that the ID is a phony. Whilst the device alone can not examine the printed info to the encoded information, it offers a vital instrument for any person making an attempt to validate the authenticity of an ID.

Regular OCR scanners do not obtain the data saved electronically on ID playing cards. This eliminates all chance of evaluating the printed data to the encoded info, and essentially renders an OCR ID scanner the equal of a glorified copying device. At very best, OCR scanners give a minimal-high quality information entry system. There are some a lot more costly programs which can scan equally sides of the motorists license, read the Second barcode (but usually not the magnetic stripe) and then compare the info fields, but these systems are generally two times as high-priced, twice as slow and not suited for retail applications.

Business Card Scanners have the edge of storing an impression of the ID card, which indicates they can save the cardholder picture. This is helps set up which ID was introduced when serving age sensitive merchandise. Nevertheless, if there is a video surveillance technique camera in use when looking through the device-readable barcode, then most systems day/time stamp the reads so a retailer can time stamp match the video to the machine-readable reads.


The major downsides of OCR ID scanning engineering are low accuracy, slow velocity and lack of ability to study encoded data to detect fake IDs. Thankfully for customers, a a lot more strong age verification tool exists. Device-readable barcode and magnetic stripe ID scanners are one hundred% correct, check IDs practically instantaneously, and support to detect faux IDs.

If you are a business operator seeking for a way to confirm consumer age, which solution would you select? The barcode/magnetic stripe reader that speeds through prolonged lines, helps pick out bogus IDs, and gives a hundred% accuracy? Or the OCR ID scanner that misreads 1 in fifty cards? Make the smart selection when deciding on an ID scanner to shield your organization, and choose a equipment-readable ID scanner.