Want to include digital writing in your apps and UIs?

June 21, 2017

Max The Magnificent-June 21, 2017

Do you recall some time ago when I wrote a column about MyScript Calculator and MyScript Nebo? (If not, see The (Electronic) Pencil is Mightier than the Keyboard.)

As you can see in this video, these handwriting recognition applications are based on an underlying technology called Interactive Ink.

In turn, Interactive Ink is based on a suite of very clever artificial intelligence (AI), artificial neural network (ANN), and deep learning technologies.

Oftentimes, traditional user interfaces leave something to be desired. These days, users prefer to interact with their devices in the most natural method possible to obtain the best, most productive experience. In some cases, this may involve embedded speech for voice control; in other cases, it may involve embedded vision for gesture detection and recognition; and in other cases, it may involve embedded handwriting recognition to capture and share thoughts.

MyScript technology combines digital ink management with easy searching of handwritten text, as well as the accurate recognition of complex mathematical equations, geometric shapes, and music notation. MyScript solutions are available on all leading desktop and mobile operating systems, including Windows, Mac OS, Linux, iOS, and Android.

But what if you wish to embed MyScript technology in your own applications? Well, I just heard that the folks at MyScript have announced the availability of their next-generation MyScript Developer platform and portal.

With the new developer platform, the creators of embedded systems can now more easily incorporate MyScript’s digital handwriting toolkits into a wide range of applications. Developers can integrate handwriting recognition for text, math, graphics, and music. Text support, for example, includes 65 languages for superimposed characters, word completion, and gesture support for editing written input.

The digital writing toolkits include the following:

  1. MyScript Cloud Development Kit (CDK) provides cloud-based recognition services and high-level web components to quickly integrate handwriting recognition into web applications.
  2. MyScript Application Toolkit (ATK) delivers high-level components and widgets to quickly leverage handwriting recognition into native mobile applications. The ATK includes OS platform support for the most popular operating systems: Android, iOS, and Windows.
  3. MyScript Software Development Kit (SDK) is a lower-level core SDK API toolkit available to developers with consultation of application development requirements. Developers submit requests online for a consultation.

As I noted in my The (Electronic) Pencil is Mightier than the Keyboard column:

Over the years, I've tried using a number of different styluses to capture hand-written notes, but the results have invariably been horrible. You know what I mean. It's like when you are at the checkout in a supermarket and you have to sign your name on the credit card machine's display and the result looks like you only learned to write earlier that day.

By comparison, the combination of the Apple Pencil and MyScript Nebo running on my iPad Pro is as close to writing with an ink pen on paper as you can imagine, and the handwriting recognition capability is nothing short of phenomenal.

Handwriting recognition is not necessary, or even desirable, for many applications; for certain tasks, however, it's a game-changer, especially if you have something as powerful as MyScript's Interactive Ink technology under the hood. I expect to see this capability appearing in all sorts of diverse applications in the not-so-distant future. I'd be very interested to hear your thoughts on this type of technology.

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