optical scanning

noun
the process of interpreting data in printed, handwritten, bar-code, or other visual form by a device (optical scanner or reader) that scans and identifies the data.


Origin:
1955–60

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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Example sentences
After the polls close, the machine-printed ballots would be counted by hand or
  by optical scanning.
These matches are detected using a clever arrangement of fluorescent tags and
  optical scanning.
The first few days were devoted to optical scanning of the aerogel tiles.
Operate an optical scanning devise to sort mail by bar code.
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