Reading handwriting

Published: Sunday 31 October 1993

A TEAM of US scientists has developed a technique to enable hand-held computers that work with a pen to recognise handwriting quickly and more accurately than their present level of literacy allows them (Science Vol 260, No 5115).

The new system, which has been developed by Rohini Srihari, Stayvis Ng, Charlotte Baltus and Jackiez Kid of the University of Buffalo, New York, first evaluates each letter by analysing its shape and then picks a word from the dictionary that most closely matches the string of guessed letters. It then picks up the right words by evaluating the grammar of the sentence, a feat the earlier systems could not accomplish.

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