The Hitachi H-8959 optical character reader was a compact, inexpensive offline OCR unit that was the first domestically produced OCR unit to feature a laser light source in the read head. A page reader that could read multiple lines of text on comparatively large single-leaf sheets (equivalent to A4), the H-8959 addressed the need for reading handwritten forms filled out at the point of data collection. It was the first domestically produced general-purpose OCR reader for general applications that could read handwritten numbers. Reliability was boosted through various checks that were essential as an offline device. Hitachi paid attention to operability, with such additional functions as a display and keyboard to correct unreadable characters and a numbering function to print sequence numbers. The unit was used in an offline configuration, outputting its results to portable media (magnetic tape or paper tape) that was then entered into a computer via a peripheral device (magnetic tape reader or paper tape reader).
|Readable characters||OCR-A and B fonts (letters and numbers), 407 font, 12F font
16 handwritten numbers and symbols
|Readable forms||Length: 145 to 300 mm，Width: 95 to 220 mm，Thickness: 0.1 to 0.18 mm|
|Processing speeds||Maximum 36 cards per minute (when reading one line on a postcard size form)|
|Sales launch period||June 1972|