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Handhelds read handwriting

ParaGraph is bringing its handwriting recognition software to Windows CE-based handheld computers.

ParaGraph International is bringing its handwriting recognition software to Windows CE-based handheld computers, giving them the same capabilities as sophisticated "digital assitant" devices.

ParaGraph, which originally developed the software for use with Apple's MessagePad 2000 PDA (personal digital assistant), says users will be able to write information directly on the screen. This allows for a more effective method of inputting data than typing on the typically small keyboards of these devices, the company added.

Windows CE is Microsoft's operating system for mobile computing and communications devices; it can directly share information with Windows-based PCs. Microsoft has also said recently that it wants to make Windows CE an operating system for games.

Windows CE is designed to run on a variety of different processors. Hitachi's SH-3 processor is currently the most widely use processor. NEC also offers a MIPS processor for Windows CE devices.

A number of companies have announced Windows CE devices including Compaq, NEC, and Casio.

ParaGraph's CalliGrapher 4.3 program allows users to write in cursive, print, or a mixture of the two without changing their handwriting style. The software uses specially developed algorithms to recognize words in its dictionary, and even characters such as numerals, punctuation symbols, and characters in the Latin alphabet.

Calligrapher 4.3 is offered for Windows CE devices using either the SH3 or MIPS processor. The program has a suggested retail price of $49.95.