In a surprising news from Google, the have officially announced the acquisition of reCaptcha, a company that creates captcha images from books.
The difference between a regular captcha and reCaptcha is that reCaptcha displays two words from books to the users, to successfully submit a form a user has to enter both these words.
Google is more interested in the scanning technology used by reCaptcha and will be using it for large scale text scanning for Google Books and Google News Archive.
In this way, reCAPTCHA’s unique technology improves the process that converts scanned images into plain text, known as Optical Character Recognition (OCR). This technology also powers large scale text scanning projects like Google Books and Google News Archive Search. Having the text version of documents is important because plain text can be searched, easily rendered on mobile devices and displayed to visually impaired users. So we’ll be applying the technology within Google not only to increase fraud and spam protection for Google products but also to improve our books and newspaper scanning process.
Definitely makes huge sense considering that Google has been making huge changes to their books index. What are your thoughts about this?
Teaching computers to read: Google acquires reCAPTCHA [Official Google Blog]