The Windows App Team announced the release of a Microsoft OCR Library for Windows Runtime, enabling developers to integrate text-recognition capabilities in Windows Phone 8/8.1 and Windows 8.1 apps.Optical character recognition (OCR) software converts images containing text into a digitally readable format. The technology’s inclusion in Windows Runtime, Microsoft’s Windows 8/8.1 application architecture, allows Windows developers to copy text from images, perform text searches in images and translate text from a multitude of image types.The OCR Library was released in a NuGet package format, and it runs entirely on the client by supporting 21 languages and image processing from sources such as cameras and image files. Developers simply open an app in Visual Studio and pull up the Microsoft OCR NuGet package.When adding the new Windows Runtime library to an application, the developer controls how the OCR Library extracts, interprets and returns text—configuring the library to recognize text patterns such as email addresses, phone numbers and URLs. Microsoft has also released a sample OCR Library app to test the technology.More information can be found on the Windows blog and on MSDN.
Microsoft and NVIDIA want to accelerate artificial intelligence computing in the next generation of cloud technology. The companies announced the HGX-1, an open standard hyperscale GPU accelerator, at the Open Compute Project (OCP) Summit today. “AI is a new computing model that requires a new architecture,” said Jen-Hsun Huang, founder and CEO of NVIDIA. “The HGX-1 hyperscale GPU accelerator will do for AI cloud computing what the ATX standard did to make PCs pervasive today. It will enable cloud-service providers to easily adopt NVIDIA GPUs to meet surging demand for AI computing.”(Related: How the landscape is changing in the cloud wars) The HGX-1 was designed alongside Microsoft’s Project Olympus to provide hyperscale data centers with a fast path for AI. Project Olympus is Microsoft’s next-generation hyperscale cloud hardware design that was announced last November. Since then, the company has introduced a new hardware development model for Project Olympus, and has released the first OCP server design. “The HGX-1 AI accelerator provides extreme performance scalability to meet the demanding requirements of fast-growing machine learning workloads, and its unique design allows it to be easily adopted into existing data centers around the world,” wrote Kushagra Vaid, general manager and distinguished engineer for Azure hardware infrastructure at Microsoft, in a blog post.Microsoft hopes Project Olympus can help provide a blueprint for future hardware development and collaboration.