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Chinese writing system updated

Motorola updates its Chinese language handwriting recognition system, in hopes of making personal computing easier in that country.

Motorola has released updated versions of its Chinese language handwriting recognition system, in hopes of making personal computing easier for new users in China.

The Lexicus division of Motorola released new versions

Motorola's WisdomPen
Motorola's WisdomPen
of WisdomPen, which transforms handwritten characters into standard Chinese characters that are used in Windows 95 and NT applications, such as Word, Word Pad, and Excel.

Handwriting recognition has become one attempt at solving the daunting problem of personal computing and word processing tasks in Chinese-speaking countries. The Chinese lexicon contains about 20,000 characters, so developing comprehensive software for the language has proved to be a major challege.

The system works by writing with a stylus on a pressure-sensitive electromagnetic tablet. The tablet then transforms the character strokes into digital information, whereupon the signals are then transferred into the PC.

The transformation is accomplished by Motorola software that is based on algorithms derived from actual handwriting patterns.

WisdomPen can run on a system using a 75-MHz Pentium or better, but Motorola suggests using a 133-MHz Pentium with at least 32MB of memory. It cannot run on a Macintosh OS platform.

WisdomPen 3.1 will be priced for professional users starting at about $200, while the less expensive WisdomPen 2.52 will targeted at home users for less than $100. The 3.1 professional model will include additional features, such as voice recognition.

The handwriting recognition technology is slated for the embedded systems and CE-based hand-helds in the future.