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Vivino strengthens app with OCR partnership

Wine app Vivino has partnered with leading document recognition software provider ABBYY Europe to offer its users an improved service.

Vivino now incorporates ABBYY’s optical character recognition (OCR) technology, which will enable customers to instantly access Vivino’s database of ratings and tasting notes from 12 million users.

Vivino users will simply have to take a photograph of a bottle of wine. The OCR software will read the text on the label and direct the consumer to the relevant record in the database.

Torben Mottes, vice president of product management for Vivino, said: “There’s a problem in wine: more than 75 per cent of wines are never rated by experts, leaving wine drinkers with little information about most of the wines they are considering drinking.

“This is where Vivino’s crowdsourced ratings, supplied by millions of users, become useful as we have ratings for almost every wine in the world.

“We asked the developer community for recommendations on best-of-breed OCR technologies and ABBYY’s name was consistently mentioned.

“After evaluating a number of different vendors, we chose ABBYY for the conversion speed and recognition accuracy of its OCR.

“Although speed and quality of recognition were our main criteria, ABBYY’s performance on text photographed in low light situations was what ultimately helped us decide.

“Our app users are often in low light settings, such as a restaurant or wine shop, and reliable, consistent text recognition is critical to the app’s performance.”

Vivino has also recently added a list of online merchants to its wine pages, enabling customers to easily source and buy a wine they are enjoying in a restaurant.

First published on Harpers