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iPhone is expected to provide real-time handwriting recognition technology
- Jun 29, 2018 -

Apple seems to be actively developing a handwriting recognition system, which means that once the system is completed, future users will be able to directly enter text on the iPhone or iPad screen by handwriting, instead of relying on the use of a virtual keyboard, and It is possible to natively support the input of Chinese Chinese characters.


When it comes to handwriting recognition, many people should know that Apple had tried similar products before, but the progress is not going well. As early as the 1990s, Apple had introduced a powerful handheld computer: Newton. One of the key highlights of this device is handwriting recognition, but this feature is not ideal, which is one of the reasons why Newton performed poorly in the PDA market.


Although some problems with Newton handwriting recognition were resolved in subsequent system software releases, Jobs decided to directly cut off the Newton device. In fact, Newton is already a long-standing device, and now technology has made great progress. A large number of devices support text input through handwriting touch screens, including Windows and Android devices. Apple also seems to have emerged from the failure of Newton and recently applied for a patent for managing "real-time handwriting recognition technology."


This patent was filed on February 15 this year and was recently announced by the US Patent and Trademark Office. Since there are patents, this shows that Apple has a certain amount of research on the technology involved in patents. According to the patent description, this is very much like "a technique to provide handwriting input function on the user's device", and also mentioned that the user "can use a finger or a stylus like Apple Pencil" to perform handwriting input and support real-time input. Conversion.


At present, the way that most users input text on mobile devices is generally accomplished through a virtual keyboard on the screen. This is basically everyone's habits, especially for smart phone users. However, it is not ideal in some situations, such as when using an oversized smartphone or tablet. A number of users indicated that it was very awkward to type text on the 12.9-inch iPad Pro, and it was inefficient to lay two hands on the table. Therefore, in this case, it is obviously more convenient to write text or a sentence directly on the large screen with a finger, without specifically adjusting the angle and posture of the device.


Therefore, if the real-time handwriting recognition technology can appear on iOS devices, it will become very practical when the virtual keyboard input is inconvenient, such as the need for quick notes or inspiration. And may be more friendly to the Chinese side is that Apple's patent description said that this handwriting recognition technology is not only suitable for English, Spanish or similar languages, but also explicitly refers to the Chinese handwriting recognition input support.


Apple’s patent description for iPhone handwriting recognition is very clear: “For multi-character or sentence-level Chinese, it also provides real-time handwriting recognition capabilities, including real-time handwriting recognition that provides stroke order and stroke direction.”


We all know that in Chinese handwritten texts, they are usually written one by one. This is obviously different from English letters. After all, a word only occupies one character, not one letter, and sometimes several strokes. It's a word, and a sentence is usually made up of hundreds of strokes. The real-time recognition technology is quite complicated. However, Apple's patent description representation can also recognize strokes and strokes in real time, even mixed Chinese handwriting of Chinese characters and English letters.


Regardless, patents are always patents and do not mean that they will be implemented immediately. If real-time handwriting recognition technology is added to the iOS system in the future, in some cases it will really help users with large-screen iOS devices to enter Chinese faster.

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