Looking for a software package that can extract data from a series of photos of a physical meter. Most gauges (e.g. thermometers, barometers, pressure gauges) are inexpensive and provide accurate, useful data, but reading them is a manual process. A general purpose image recognition tool to extract readings from time-stamped images (taken from an old cell phone or web cam on time lapse, for example) would allow automated construction of time-series data for later analysis.

Here's examples of a digital thermometer / hygrometer / clock and an analog electricity meter that this could be used on:

Digital indoor weather station Analog Watthour Meter

You can assume the operator has some ability to control the scene, i.e. placement of objects, lighting, and so forth. For example, on the digital meter, relative humidity (46%) is tough to read, but better lighting might clear that up. (Both images are scaled down for inline display; view in new window for slightly higher res.)

No restrictions on platform, operating system, or license and whether the package can read some meters but not all (e.g. digital but not analog).

  • This is going to be a tough one. Can you possibly post some sample images? Or, at the very least, describe the meters? Digits from LEDs might be doable. The level of mercury in a thermometer would be tricky, I imagine. Good luck – Mawg says reinstate Monica Jan 14 '16 at 8:58
  • I just re-read the question. Is it correct to say that you can collect measurements from all of your meters in real-time? But maybe you are not there, which is why you are using time-lapse photography? – Mawg says reinstate Monica Jan 14 '16 at 9:00
  • @Mawg Updated with examples. All I meant by "real-time" in the original version was these devices don't keep logs on their own. I reworded that sentence. – duozmo Jan 15 '16 at 16:32

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