Office Lens Is a Snap (Point and Map?)

Office Lens Is a Snap

From the post:

The moment mobile-phone manufacturers added cameras to their devices, they stopped being just mobile phones. Not only have lightweight phone cameras made casual photography easy and spontaneous, they also have changed the way we record our lives. Now, with help from Microsoft Research, the Office team is out to change how we document our lives in another way—with the Office Lens app for Windows Phone 8.

Office Lens, now available in the Windows Phone Store, is one of the first apps to use the new OneNote Service API. The app is simple to use: Snap a photo of a document or a whiteboard, and upload it to OneNote, which stores the image in the cloud. If there is text in the uploaded image, OneNote’s cloud-based optical character-recognition (OCR) software turns it into editable, searchable text. Office Lens is like having a scanner in your back pocket. You can take photos of recipes, business cards, or even a whiteboard, and Office Lens will enhance the image and put it into your OneNote Quick Notes for reference or collaboration. OneNote can be downloaded for free.

Less than five (5) years ago, every automated process in Office Lens would have been a configurable setting.

Today, it’s just point and shoot.

There is an interface lesson for topic maps in the Office Lens interface.

Some people will need the Office Lens API. But, the rest of us, just want to take a picture of the whiteboard (or some other display). Automatic storage and OCR are welcome added benefits.

What about a topic map authoring interface that looks a lot like MS Word™ or Open Office. A topic map is loaded much like a spelling dictionary. When the user selects “map-it,” links are inserted that point into the topic map.

Hover over such a link and data from the topic map is displayed. Can be printed, annotated, etc.

One possible feature would be “subject check” which displays the subjects “recognized” in the document. To enable the author to correct any recognition errors.

In case you are interested, I can point you to some open source projects that have general authoring interfaces. 😉

PS: If you have a Windows phone, can you check out Office Lens for me? I am still sans a cellphone of any type. Since I don’t get out of the yard a cellphone doesn’t make much sense. But I do miss out on the latest cellphone technology. Thanks!

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