Text around us is one of the most dominant forms of visual information — from street signs, text on display screens to documents, books, and endlessly more. Using Envision to read text has been one of the most loved features ever since its launch — Envisioners have read 5.4 million pieces of text using the Envision app in the month of January 2022 alone. A natural consequence is that the majority of our focus at Envision is to continuously improve the text recognition capabilities of our platform and to constantly innovate within this space.
There are two main features that represent Envision’s text recognition capabilities: Instant Text and Scan Text. We will be talking about the first feature, Instant Text, and discuss its biggest ever leap since its first introduction years ago in Envision 1.0. Instant Text is available both online and offline. With Offline Instant Text being used the most, it is also the feature on which we often focus — always consistently trying to improve the speed, accuracy and expanding the list of languages that can be made available offline.
The first iteration of Offline Instant Text was launched supporting Latin script languages. Over the next couple of years this grew to be 27 languages, still within the scope of what you can call Latin script languages. With the launch of Offline Instant Text v2, we have now been able to include some very popular non-Latin script languages, namely Japanese, Hindi, Chinese (Traditional and Simplified) and Korean, Gujarati & Sanskrit. This means that users can use Instant Text in all the languages supported earlier along with these new languages. Entirely offline.
Not only did we add more languages but we have also made this feature objectively faster. Offline Instant Text v2 is now 30% faster in our testing compared to the first version. And for the new set of non-Latin script languages that we have included, we are observing an 80% improvement in speed compared to the previous version.
Speed is definitely important to us when it comes to Instant Text and we will be bringing more improvements on this front throughout the next few months.
We have also worked hard to improve the accuracy of the new instant text feature. The new Instant Text feature is more accurate in identifying languages. This ensures that when you do have language detection turned on, the Offline Instant Text feature is going to be able to use the right TTS voice more often. The baseline accuracy of the whole feature itself is also improved. This means that Offline Instant Text can now pick up text better in various settings, for example: even if the text is small, or on an irregular surface.
These are only some of the improvements when it comes to the new offline Instant Text. Please do update your Envision App to the latest version to try out these updates. We are always looking to get feedback on where we can improve.
We are definitely not done yet. Throughout this year we have a lot more updates planned for this feature — from adding more languages offline to making instant more intelligent. We can’t wait to show you what’s next, but for now, please do give this new version a shot.
You can watch the video below, that explains on how you can use the Instant Text feature in various scenarios: