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Copyright © 2008 Quixate Limited.


Integrated text location and reading

Quixate’s main product is an integrated text-locating and text-reading system. It finds the lines of text — or even isolated words — in a photograph and then reads each line that it finds. The result is a searchable, indexable database of those lines of text.

The system is capable of finding and reading text:

  • in a wide range of fonts;
  • at any orientation;
  • of any size from a few pixels high to hundreds of pixels high;
  • set along a straight line or along an arbitrary curve;
  • that is unevenly lit;
  • distorted by the camera lens, by noise, by compression, or by the effect of perspective.

See our gallery for some examples of what the system can do. If you want to know how well it can do on your own images, send us some samples and we’ll show you.

The input to the system is a photograph, either as a JPEG or in almost any other common format. The output is a plain text database of the lines of text giving their contents along with their exact positions and sizes, plus a score indicating the system’s confidence in the results. The output is easy to search and index, and can readily be converted into other formats as needed. You can read the details of how it all works here.

The system is written in C++ and will run without difficulty on almost any desktop computer. It is designed to be fast, flexible and frugal with machine resources for easy portability to other platforms, especially embedded systems.

Flexible licence options are available to suit the needs of your particular application.


The component of our system that reads lines of text once they have been found can be used separately from the text locator. In some applications, such as quality control inspection, the expected location of the text to be read may be known reasonably accurately in advance, or the image may contain cues or fiducial reference marks that allow the fast and reliable location of text without resorting to the full power of our text location algorithms.

Again, flexible licence terms are available.


We also offer consultancy services to help integrate our engine with your existing product to ensure that you get the best possible benefit from our technology. For example, we can help you replace the standard text location engine with a specially-written version optimised for your application, or we can build versions of the system with language and character models to your specification. We can also help optimise the system for speed or memory usage on particular platforms. Please contact us to discuss your requirements in detail.