Tag Archives: digital handwriting

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The Pen Reinvented: Smart, Sleek, and Enterprise Ready

Published: 1st April 2015

Often the greatest inventions are just new iterations of products we already have. Upgrading your shock-resistant CD player for an iPod revolutionized the way you listen to music while you travel or work out and exchanging your rotary phone for a smartphone truly revolutionized the way you communicate and stay connected. Now smartpens are revolutionizing the way you take notes, sketch and capture your thoughts. On their own and with tablets, they also hold the power to completely transform data capture, content creation, and collaboration workflows for businesses large and small.

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Kickstarter success and consumer applications: Neo Smartpen N2

MyScript customer NeoLAB Convergence set out to create an industry-leading smartpen that wouldn’t hinder the deeply personal experience traditional writing provides. Originally just a concept, NeoLAB turned to Kickstarter to raise the funds to transform its idea into reality. With the goal of raising $16,360, they blew that number out of the water reaching a total of $359,112 through more than 2,200 backers. The project was selected as a Kickstarter “Staff Pick” and a top three tech product making it one of the most successful projects on the site. Drastically exceeding its goal, the project was able to move forward and bring the idea to fruition.

NeoLAB created the digital pen called Neo smartpen N2 and an app called Neo Notes. The pen is an innovative mobile technology designed to feel just like your favorite ballpoint pen. Bridging the gap between analog writing and digital note taking, it works on any code-printed notebook or paper but leverages a micro gyroscope that records your strokes as you write. No need to even turn it on because it records automatically. It takes the natural feeling of jotting something down on paper and duplicates it into an electronic version that is stored in your phone, tablet or computer. N2 can store up to 1,000 pages, which are auto-archived by date, location and page. The notes or sketches can then be viewed later and shared or organized on your mobile device.

Working with MyScript, the N2 smartpen and Neo Notes transcribes handwritten notes into digital text through MyScript’s handwriting recognition technology so you can easily search your notes anytime, anywhere. It is smart note taking.

“There are three advantages of the digital method ― the abilities to share, reproduce and store. We believed if we can combine these advantages with the analogue method, with which people are more familiar, we can create valuable things,” NeoLAB Convergence CEO Lee Sang-gyu said. The pen and app are already earning great feedback from its users.

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Enterprise ready

In late March, XMS Penvision announced that its Formidable digital writing platform now supports the Neo smartpen N2. The hybrid digital writing solution effectively bridges traditional pen and paper with tablet and smartphone devices to offer a natural and cohesive writing experience for business users. The Neo smartpen N2 takes digital pen technology to a smarter level by adding features that enable tighter integration and immediate data validation via iOS and Android tablets and smartphones. It offers a small, attractive and lightweight form factor at a price point that suits many processes, workers and markets where paper is still required.

Formidable  provides a simple web-based platform that enables the  set up, completion and output in digital format of business forms. Leveraging MyScript technology, handwritten input is captured and converted to digital text at the point of entry on either tablet/smartphone screens or normal paper via digital pen.

The solution’s unique and compelling business proposition means forms can be written and completed in the field as normal and converted to data files and electronic documents for immediate integration to back office applications and document management systems. The inherent delay, cost of handling, and loss caused by manual data capture is a major financial burden for all businesses. The Formidable solution leveraging the Neo smartpen N2 effectively addresses these challenges, making its return on investment rapid. Click here to learn more about the solution.

So now let’s not ask if the pen is mightier than the keyboard. In fact, the pen is now mightier than ever and can easily co-exist with other mobile devices in the digital world.

Note to developers: To learn how you can incorporate MyScript’s handwriting recognition technology in your next app or solution, click here.

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National Handwriting Day – Celebrate The MyScript Way

Published: 23rd January 2015

In honor of National Handwriting Day, we’d like to take a moment to appreciate how handwriting impacts our lives every day. From nostalgic love notes to crossing things off your to-do list, there is just something about writing by hand that can’t be replaced. Until now.

MyScript has given handwriting a digital makeover. Through our own technology showcase apps and partnerships with developers, we give users the best of both worlds. Writing by hand on a tablet or mobile device mimics the brain activity triggered by traditional pen and paper handwriting, while also allowing users to organize their content in an interactive and dynamic digital form.

Here are a few ways MyScript is keeping the love of beautiful penmanship and convenience of note taking alive on National Handwriting Day and throughout the year.

Reflect On The Year Ahead

Each year, we all create New Year’s resolutions and each year, we let them slip away from us. This year, keep your resolutions alive using our Smart Note app for iOS and Android, which turns handwritten goals into digital content that you can reference all year long. Write your goals down, share them on social, or just keep them in your notes on your mobile device so you can check back in with them as often as you’d like.

Crunch Numbers In A Flash

In a hurry and need the answer to a math problem? How about trying to figure out the final cost of clothes during a 40 percent off sale at the store? Using MyScript Calculator for iOS or Android, users can jot down a math equation right on their mobile device and have the app fill in the rest. It works for basic operations, powers, roots, logarithms and even trigonometry.

Send A Love Note

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, and nothing is more thoughtful than a handwritten note showing your loved one that you care. Instead of a paper card or sticky note that might be thrown away, share a note with them using MyScript Smart Note so they can save your digital Valentine to their mobile device. This way, they can look back at it whenever they feel like it.

Ditch The Keyboard And Use Handwriting In Any iOS App 

With MyScript Stack for iOS, you can use handwriting as a way to enter information in almost any app. Using superimposed input (also known as overwriting) , this innovative natural input panel allows you to continuously and quickly write characters on top of each other, making short text entry convenient and efficient. With MyScript Stack, you can easily input phone numbers, look up names in address books, compose tweets, and write chat or SMS messages with your fingertips. The handwritten input is instantly recognized and converted to digital text.

Get Some Family Time In

Between work, practice and school, it can be difficult to find one-on-one time with your kids. Why not combine study time with family time? With one of our many partners’ math, writing or shapes apps (using MyScript HWR technology), you can help your children practice their writing or math studies right on your mobile device. They’re brightly colored and entertaining for you and your kids!

While National Handwriting Day is just once a year, enjoy the feeling of writing on your digital devices year round with MyScript. Check out this video to discover the possibilities of handwriting.

We want to know – what other ways do you like to use MyScript and our partner apps throughout the year?

Note to developers: We have tools available that will help  you harness the power of handwriting for your applications. Click here to learn more.

 

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The Future Has Always Been In Your Hands (Infographic)

Published: 29th December 2014

Since the beginning of time, communication has been about expressing your thoughts, stories and ideas with others. Adapting to new cultures and technologies, it went from pictographs on a cave wall to today’s digital writing on a touchscreen.

While the fundamental tools have always been the same – our hands – the methods have continued to evolve. Initially, we leveraged pictures etched into clay, but that gave way to writing sounds and syllables through newly formed alphabets. From stone to papyrus to paper, reed brushes to quills, typewriters to keyboards, handwriting has evolved to today’s digital technology form.

When a new writing technology develops, we tend to look at those of the past with great nostalgia. For instance as we’ve given in to the immediacy and convenience of connecting online via email and instant message, some argue that we’ve lost our emotional connection because of the keyboard. We romanticize the days of grandma’s recipes on index cards or a handwritten love letter.

But now we don’t have to choose. As with the Sumerians’ soft clay tablets carved with a stylus, we have the capability to leverage a digital stylus on today’s tablets. This advanced handwriting recognition technology combines the intimacy of our individual handwritten personality with the convenience of the connected device. This combination allows us to put our thoughts down on paper seamlessly, nostalgically and have them stored in the cloud for searching later.

That convenience will likely drive many of the future transformations in digital handwriting. The number of devices that leverage handwriting recognition technology like tablets, phones, cars, and other devices in the Internet of Things (smart watches, etc) is already increasing every year, making it even easier to sync and share your communications with others. So while the method of execution has changed from chisel to digital pen and touch, we’ll always be able to count on the original tools – our hands.

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Developer Success Story: XMS Penvision Bridges the Gap Between Paper and Tablet

Published: 10th December 2014

In our Developer Success Story series, we highlight developers who have leveraged MyScript technology to enhance their solutions and grow their businesses

Pen and paper have gone the way of the Walkman… or so we thought. Many industries still rely heavily on written documents in their day-to-day processes but to meet ever-increasing productivity targets and green standards, they must incorporate new innovations. For instance, XMS Penvision has combined traditional handwriting practices with the power of digital technology to elevate the idea and functionality of a pen and paper.

XMS Penvision specializes in data capture through digital writing technology. Their platform Formidable uses MyScript’s handwriting recognition (HWR) technology for ultimate input accuracy. It enables staff in field services, government, animal welfare, healthcare and many other organizations to automate handwriting data capture and processing.

How It’s Rolled Out

Interestingly, this innovative technology has two adoption tactics: users can use a digital pen on standard paper that has thousands of embedded dots per sheet which record their strokes and send the information to Formidable via a mobile device, docking to a PC, or users can leverage a mobile tablet directly. Why the multiple options? It’s largely for transition and adoption. Many small and medium-sized businesses have been using handwritten processes for decades so a sharp technological transition can be a huge barrier to adoption. Rolling out digital paper first then adding in tablets requires less extreme change-management for these traditional businesses.

Case in point, the XMS platform now has more than 30,000 users with companies deploying and using Formidable as a strategic forms creation and processing platform with multiple input options.

Use Cases

Take NHS Rotherham for example. The physiotherapists there write as they used to, but leveraging digital pen and paper, notes are converted to computer text. At the end of each session, the physio updates the electronic patient record with key pieces of data and a PDF of the notes for later reference. Ultimately, the digital pen solution improved the efficiency of the NHS Rotherhams physio team by 35% and reduced patient waiting times.

At the Stockton on Tees Borough Council, animal welfare officers and the kennel security and surveillance team are equipped with a smart phone, a digital pen and digitized forms. The animal’s description, photo and entire journey through the system is documented and updated to the customized portal automatically, resulting in more animals being safely returned to their owners.

E.ON UK created a solution that enables audit reports to be sent electronically while integrating instantly with a custom developed database. Audit reports are completed with a digital pen. The recording is then sent via a mobile device to Formidable where automatically and within seconds, PDFs and data formats are sent and integrated with the customer’s designed database and reporting tool. The deployment gives EON evidence of compliance to health and safety when commercial meters are moved, installed or removed.

While these are just a few examples, it shows the diverse range of use cases for digital handwriting technology and proves that while the tools may have changed, the principle and benefits of ‘pen and paper’ are very much alive today.

Note to developers: Interested in developing your own application or solution using MyScript technology? Click here to learn more about our Developer Program.

Developer Success Story: Shiny Things Makes Math Education Fun

Published: 19th November 2014

In our Developer Success Story series on the blog, we will be highlighting developers who have leveraged MyScript technology to enhance their solutions and grow their businesses

Technology for the classroom isn’t just a priority for Microsoft and Google, but for app developers all over the world. However, there are two very different schools of thought. While the tech giants focus mainly on educators’ pain points with online lesson planning and homework assignment solutions, others believe technology can be used to get to the root of the challenge – the students.

An Education App Success Story

Shiny Things is the perfect example of a company supporting students and children. To date, the MyScript partner has already created 14 interactive learning apps. Some focus on math education, but all of them are designed to be simple, engaging and packed full of educational content. And the proof is in the numbers. Shiny Things’ apps have already received 1.5 million downloads, with about 400,000 coming from schools.

Quick Math, Shiny Kids, Classroom

What’s so cool about Shiny Things’ apps? Utilizing handwriting recognition (HWR) technology, they help kids work through problems, solidifying foundational concepts, instead of enabling guessing. In fact, one of their apps, Quick Math was the first ever education app featuring HWR technology, helping to challenge students to evaluate their answers rather than relying on multiple-choice.

While Shiny Things’ apps are certainly educational, we all know educational doesn’t win over most students. The important thing is they’re also fun for kids. They encourage the development of mental arithmetic skills as students race the clock to improve their score, earn stars and unlock exciting avatars.

In addition to kid-focused apps, Shiny Things also has one app designed for in-classroom use: Shape Lab. It’s an open-ended app that allows students and teachers to explore shape and measurement concepts on the iPad. Using MyScript’s advanced shape recognition technology, Shape Lab allows students to draw, manipulate and investigate shapes directly on the screen.

Why MyScript Technology for Education

For the first six months, Shiny Things used their own HWR technology for their apps. They collected over 200,000 handwriting samples, but because people write differently all over the world – varying slants to their handwriting, additional or omitted cross lines in numbers and letters, sharp edges versus bubbly letters, etc. – they were unable to reach sufficient levels of accuracy. HWR technology wasn’t their specialty.

Then they learned of MyScript Calculator and knew they needed to incorporate MyScript’s HWR technology in their apps to achieve best-in-class accuracy. Once they discovered the MyScript’s Software Development Kit, it only took approximately two weeks to re-code their apps. Since then, they’ve consistently earned four and five-star reviews from children, parents and teachers.

Shiny Things: What’s Next     

Since 2011, Shiny Things has created apps that impact kids’ learning experiences. They’ve earned multiple awards including the kidSAFE certification, Apple’s Best of 2013, Best Apps for Kids from Geeks with Juniors, Best Maths App of 2013 from Teachers with Apps, and Top 100 App for Kids from Smart Apps for Special Needs. The last is notable because children with special needs, who often have difficulty writing, are still able to enjoy Shiny Things’ apps because of MyScript’s advanced handwriting recognition technology.

Next, Shiny Things has an extensive roadmap for their geometry app, leveraging MyScript Shape, and hopes to continue building out the app. Eventually, since founder Mat Peterson has an interest in music, they’d also love to incorporate the MyScript Music SDK in future children’s apps.

Interested in developing your own app using MyScript technology? Click here to join our Developer Program today.

Developer Guest Post – myBlee: Is Handwriting Really Obsolete in Education?

Published: 10th November 2014

Guest post by myBlee myblee

“Nobody reads handwriting anymore.”

“Good handwriting is no longer necessary.”

But is handwriting really obsolete? The Common Core State Standards (CCSS), a set of preferred course offerings for public schools, certainly thinks so. Having omitted cursive handwriting from the curriculum by citing most importantly our digital-heavy age as the leading cause, they are instead turning to teach kids to master the computer keyboard instead. To them, handwriting does not matter in the slightest. The CCSS calls for teachers to teach legible handwriting only in the Kindergarten and first grade, after which the emphasis shifts to the keyboard. However, this may in fact, have its adverse effects.

Handwriting was, and still is, an essential part of a child’s development. Recent studies have revealed that handwriting can not only help children learn more quickly and retain information better, but also help them generate more ideas. This is because handwriting activates a neural circuit, involving parts of the brain such as the left fusiform gyrus, which plays a key role in reading and face recognition. Because writing involves so many parts of brain, the mind is therefore more engaged in the process, leading to facilitated learning and greater working memory. Typing, in contrast, show significantly weaker activation, and no such benefits.

This, however, presents a sort of conundrum. With today’s high tech world of smartphones, iPads and other gadgets, is it imperative that children become comfortable with them at an early age without sacrificing  the benefits offered by handwriting. It is easy to guess that integrating handwriting into educational apps is the next revolutionary step for e-learning. myBlee has taken this step with its ground-breaking application, myBlee Math. As the only educational application on the market offering a combination of the old-age handwriting and the new-age technology that is à la mode, myBlee Math is a comprehensive application for the entire math curriculum from Kindergarten to the 6th grade that requires the users to write the answers on the iPad’s screen. Using revolutionary handwriting recognition technology from myScript, myBlee has found that by writing answers instead of typing them, children are not only more engaged, but also enjoy the learning process more.

With myBlee’s unique approach towards combining handwriting with education on the iPad, learning is both easy and fun for children of all ages. myBlee Math truly combines the best of both words – maximum development and concept reinforcement with the fun of modern technology.

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About myBlee

myBlee creates high-quality educational applications for elementary and middle school children. Our applications harness the full power of the iPad, iPhone and iPod touch to provide real educational value and measurable learning growth for girls and boys within the critical age of 5 to 12. myBlee apps recognize a child’s handwriting and movement to offer audio and visual guidance and corrections, and adapt automatically to the speed at which a child is progressing. All the myBlee apps are created by a team of professional teachers and carefully tested with children to ensure that learning is always interactive, rewarding, and fun. Visit web site for more info: www.myblee.info

Smart Note-Taking is Here: Developers – Seize the Power

Published: 28th October 2014

Smart note-taking is here, and it is time for developers and device manufacturers to seize the power.

MyScript recently launched MyScript Smart Note, an advanced note-taking application that turns handwritten input into interactive, actionable digital text that can be edited, searched, and shared.

A Smart Note Taking Toolkit is available for developers to leverage the core technology showcased in the MyScript Smart Note application. The toolkit covers the various note-taking use cases from jotting down a small piece of information to building a rich note. It aims at making handwriting as natural as on paper while providing advanced features to leverage the benefits of digital devices.

Within the toolkit, developers will find:

Interactive Text Component which manages all the background processing attached to handwriting text on a page. It processes new incoming digital ink and gestures to update an internal representation of the page content. API parameters allow you to control the different processing modes such as handwriting recognition or real time transformation of digital ink into typeset characters.

The Multi-Line Text Widget displays an area where the user can enter several lines of text using a finger or a stylus. The widget API allows converting the handwritten text into digital text in real time while keeping the original digital ink displayed. This allows delivering a comprehensive set of features and gestures that combine the feeling of writing on paper with all the benefits of a digital device: text editing, space creation, identification of data types within the content. The widget also includes features such as vertical scrolling and candidate selection.

To learn more, visit the Developer Program web site or feel free to contact us. Also check out the video.

Microsoft Catching On With Android Wear Prototype

Published: 27th October 2014

When we saw Microsoft’s support for Android Wear smartwatches, and the experimental analog keyboard app being demonstrated on YouTube, we took pause. Mostly because we’re happy that Microsoft understands, like we do, that voice and traditional keyboards aren’t the only input methods for smartwatches and small devices. It is sometimes impossible to use voice due to background noise or confidentiality, and using a tiny keyboard on a small surface is not always handy either. In our opinion, single letter input on tiny touch surfaces such as smartwatches or small devices  is one of the most reliable and efficient input methods.

While Microsoft’s app is a prototype, our Superimposed technology is already being used in the market. In the automotive market for instance, our technology is widely adopted by major companies allowing drivers to interact within the car (GPS, radio control, AC, etc) using a simple trackpad where you can enter your commands writing single letters. Recently, the successful launch of our MyScript Stack app and how well it’s been received, is a large validation of our years of innovation and willingness to carry the torch for handwriting recognition technology. Seeing the latest Android Wear video makes us feel even more validated and reinforces our conviction that we are going in the right direction.

At MyScript, we think that videos like Microsoft’s show that market demand for handwriting recognition apps is on the rise. Developers who start creating with it now will be ahead of the curve. We believe that within a few years, end-user adoption will be widespread and mainstream as handwriting emerges as a preferred input method. We support developers who share that vision which is why we make it easy for them to evaluate and integrate our handwriting recognition technology. To learn more, visit our Developer Program web site: https://dev.myscript.com. Also check out our latest video for inspiration regarding the power of digital writing and how to harness it.

Top 6 Reasons to Attend future.write(); – MyScript Digital Writing Conference

Published: 3rd October 2014

We are counting down the days until future.write(); the MyScript Digital Writing Conference to be held October 21-22 at the JW Marriott Union Square in San Francisco.  MyScript has lined up an exciting schedule of industry experts and innovators to share how the digital writing market has evolved, the emerging ecosystem, industry use cases, and what to expect for the future of the technology.

Benefits Of attending future.write();

  • Hear an industry analyst perspective regarding where the digital writing market is heading, trends in devices and input methods, and market dynamics that are driving user adoption.

 

  • Explore how the need for global standards, exceptional digital pen user experience, and input methods will drive the next stage of adoption. Presenters from the emerging ecosystem include experts from Wacom, N-trig, and NeoLAB Convergence.

 

  • Discover how digital writing is changing the world with innovative use cases from Adobe, Audi, Khan Academy, Marquardt GmbH, and Mona Lisa Sound.

 

  • Visit the solution showcase and network with software developers, device manufacturers, and product specialists who have leveraged MyScript technology to enhance their offerings.

 

  • Explore the latest developments from MyScript Labs, learn about our technology roadmap, and discover how MyScript is developing a global standard for digital writing.

 

  • Learn first-hand about effective ways to integrate and leverage MyScript technology in your product offerings. Click here to view the workshop session tracks.

Register now!

 

Hello iOS 8, Goodbye Keyboard

Published: 18th September 2014

iOS 8 has finally arrived! To celebrate, we have released MyScript Stack, the first of two input panel applications for iOS 8 that provide a natural alternative to keyboards.

MyScript Stack will transform how you interact with your iOS devices. The input panel allows you to continuously and quickly write characters on top of each other, making short text entry convenient and efficient.

What can you do with MyScript Stack?
  • Easily input phone numbers
  • Look up names in address books
  • Compose tweets
  • Write chat or SMS messages

You can do this all with a fingertip!  Your handwritten input is instantly recognized and converted to digital text. MyScript Stack can be used anywhere, at any time, and particularly in situations where focusing on a standard keyboard is not always convenient.  MyScript Stack works in any application and supports 58 languages.

Also stay tuned for MyScript Stylus, our second application for iOS 8 coming later in September. This input panel provides text entry in natural writing mode, cursive, and hand printing using a stylus or finger.  You can easily write long words and phrases as the panel area scrolls over progressively and delivers a truly natural writing experience. This is useful in any application requiring text entry such as email, text editing, calendar, web browser, etc.

Both MyScript Stack and MyScript Stylus share common functionalities enabling users to easily correct and edit content using candidates and intuitive gestures like insert, overwrite, erase, split or line breaks.

We feel that handwriting is the most natural and user-friendly way to enter content and are thrilled that Apple is supporting third party input methods. This is also hugely beneficial for developers who want to meet consumer demand and leverage handwriting in their applications for iOS 8.

Developers can leverage the technology showcased in the iOS 8 applications by joining the MyScript Developer Program. The program and self-service web portal provides developers with immediate access to developer toolkits, a robust forum for peer support and knowledge sharing, and additional resources such as documentation, videos, and webinars. Click here to learn more.