Microsoft has been working on handwriting recognition for over 15 years starting with the Pen extensions for Windows 3.0. Given the tight integration of the handwriting components available in Windows, we can see increased use of handwriting with Windows PCs. Using keyboard is still found difficult in many areas like schools, hospitals, banks, and government sectors. Microsoft is continuously working on improving the quality of recognition as well as the availability of recognizers in more languages around the world.
Let’s briefly understand how handwriting recognition works. The Tablet PC handwriting-recognition system is neural network. Rather than simply trying to translate ink strokes into letters and words, it uses several information sources to determine intentions. For example, when we write “ing” on the writing pad, the system looks at its dictionary, how we wrote the word, rules of grammar, other words near the cursor, and more. If the “ing” was written with the cursor immediately after “walk” then we may have meant to add the “ing” to create “walking.” If the cursor was immediately after “banana” it would make a different decision because “bananaing” is not a word.
A video on basic feature of using handwriting recognition on a Tablet PC with Windows 7
For more reading on patent filed for handwriting recognition using neural networks