How many times have you tried to register for something, or typed in a long wifi password, only to get an error message?
There are few things more frustrating than having to retype those small and impossibly long codes, over and over again. What about those long and repetitive registration forms when booking an airline flight or hotel room – even registering for a new service – like a bank or mobile phone provider.
Needless to say, human brains just aren’t built for manually entering lists of jumbled numbers and letters over and over again. To make it worse, the errors caused by misreading a number are more common than we all care to admit – and incredibly frustrating at that!
That’s why people who are tired of manually typing data are downloading keyboard applications to make their everyday life easier.
But I’m not talking about the latest Giphy or Emoji Keyboard. I’m talking about those that will actually change how you interact with and collect data on a daily basis. Be it for registration forms or simply sharing information in a message or email, this technology is worth knowing about.
Introducing keyboard scanner apps
Keyboard scanner apps save the user time by enabling them to scan data with their phone’s camera, and then paste it anywhere, like in a browser, email, or messaging app.
It looks just like a normal keyboard that you use on any app on your phone. The difference is that you can click a ‘scan’ button to capture data instead of typing. For example, the Anyline Keyboard App scans text, such as WIFI passwords, IBAN numbers, and passport information, as well as barcodes and QR codes.
When can you use a keyboard application?
Once you start using a keyboard scanning app, your life will never be the same and you will likely never go back to manually entering this type of data. Here are just a few examples of various uses for keyboard applications:
- Streaming TV – As people spend more time at home, one convenient use of a keyboard app is helping viewers connect their TV or devices to streaming services, like Youtube, ESPN, and Amazon prime video. By simply scanning the pairing code on their TV screen, users can instantly connect their device and stream their favorite show in seconds.
- Getting online quickly – If you are in a public place or visiting a friend’s house, it’s easy to get the WIFI password wrong again and again. With a keyboard app that includes an Optical Character Recognition (OCR) Scanner, you can just scan the password and enter it immediately. Bring on the long and complex passwords!
- Holiday bookings and check-in – Using a keyboard scanner app also lets holidaymakers book flights and hotel rooms in a fraction of the time. By simply scanning your passport information or driver’s license, you can complete purchases faster and without mistakes. Then, when you need to check-in, it’s easy and fast to scan your data to fill in the necessary information without typing a single word.
What should you look for in a keyboard application?
Ideally, a keyboard scanner app should give you maximum flexibility: combining OCR scanner technology with barcode scanner specifications.
For example, if you are using a banking app, you might need a QR code scanner as well as an IBAN reader. When booking services such as a flight or hotel reservation, you will want features such as Passport and ID readers. The key here is flexibility – a “one-stop-shop” application that gives you the most options for keyboard scanning.
Speaking about identification documents, If you want to collect the information from an ID, the keyboard needs to be capable of reading the MRZ (machine readable zone) at the bottom of your passport, or PDF417 (the funny looking barcode) on the back of your driver’s license (the US only). It’s best to check beforehand that a keyboard application has these functionalities before downloading it to get the most out of this technology.
What about data privacy and security?
This is a topic that has risen in popularity over recent years as we have learned more about the data we actually have out in the open.
From personal information to credit card and banking details, we are always second-guessing the data we share with others – now more than ever.
So, what actually happens to the data we are taking pictures of, and who has access to it when using a keyboard app?
While I strongly encourage users to look into the privacy policies of each keyboard scanning app, the main thing to look for is details on how the captured data is processed. When it comes to the Anyline Keyboard App, the captured data is completely processed on the device thanks to clever coding built directly into the application. This means that when you select an item to scan, say a Passport, the text is automatically processed on your phone, and the data digitalized without the need for any internet or mobile data connection.
Why is this important? Simply put, your data stays completely secure. With the Anyline Keyboard App, your phone does all the magic and you will never need to worry about data privacy again.
How much do they cost?
When you go into the app store and search for keyboard apps, you will see a wide variety of options. Some keyboard apps are ‘freemium’, while others are available at a fixed cost. Some applications feature a few scanning capabilities while others solely focus on one thing – say a barcode or QR scanner.
However, the Anyline Keyboard App is completely free for anyone to download and includes a full and impressive variety of scanning features. From various ID documents to banking IBAN numbers, voucher codes, and the most useful, a Universal Serial Number reader which is life-changing for those random and long numbers – like car VIN numbers or WiFi passwords.
Guest author: Lukas Kinigadner is an advisor, speaker and entrepreneur by heart. He is a co-founder and CEO of Anyline. Before Anyline, Lukas founded several companies, including one of the first app agencies in Austria. Lukas has also worked for the Tyrolit Group, BAWAG Bank, BA-CA Leasing Bank, Allis-Gleaner Corporation and was a manager at Accenture.
Besides his role as Anyline CEO, Lukas mentors startups and shares his expertise with other entrepreneurs. In addition to his role at Anyline, Lukas gives speeches and talks on topics like entrepreneurship, sales and his achievements as a startup-founder.