Palm Pilot Uses Partially ATP-Enabled Handwriting Recognition Technology
||Communication Intelligence Corporation
Redwood Shore, CA
Duration and Cost:
funding amount: $1.2 M
- Communication Intelligence Corporation cost-share amount: $0.9 M
Report of the Completed Project:
general goal of handwriting recognition is to enable communication with computers via ordinary handwriting skills for a wide variety of applications. In 1991, the main challenge with developing handwriting recognition was to accommodate writing styles that varied greatly from person to person and sometime even for the same person. Other challenges included that the software recognizes cursive and/or contiguous writing, and is accurate and fast enough to be practical for everyday use.
Communication Intelligence Corporation (CIC) was founded in 1981 as a spin-off from the Stanford Research Institute (SRI) to commercialize pattern recognition technology. In 1991, handwriting recognition technology was still in its infancy. CIC was a very small company with limited resources to develop such a long-range risky project. They, therefore, applied for an ATP cost-share award.
CIC was awarded an ATP project to further develop a robust handwriting recognition system that would be user-independent and would not require user training in order for a computer to recognize each person’s unique handwriting.
The difficult and higher risk part was perfecting techniques for software that would effectively recognize fully cursive handwriting. CIC researchers accomplished this technical goal during the project by collecting a database with thousands of cursive handwriting samples and developing new recognition algorithms. After analyzing the handwriting-sample database and developing the recognition methods, they also developed procedures that permit fast computation with modest computer memory requirements.
and Economic Impacts
Prior to its ATP project, CIC was marketing a software product called Handwriter®. The company initially incorporated some components of the ATP-funded technology into Handwriter®. CIC licensed Handwriter® to many personal computer manufacturers worldwide. Then, it upgraded the Handwriter® software into a product known as Jot®, which is now incorporated in millions of pen-based, hand-held computer devices on the market.
The company also developed a derivative technology which enabled the comparison of a user’s handwriting samples for biometric signature verification. This resulted in a series of biometric electronic signature solutions starting with CIC’s Sign-it®
- As technical results from the ATP project were accomplished, CIC incorporated the new technology into existing software as well as into new products in the years following the ATP award, generating additional sales and revenue:
- CIC licensed the Handwriter® software to more than a dozen computer manufacturers around the world.
- CIC launched a new product in 1996 called Handwriter® Mx™, a stylus-and-tablet data-entry device using the upgraded Handwriter® software.
- CIC launched the Sign-it line of products in 1997, ultimately resulting in several multi-million dollar enterprise class deployments of biometric e-Signature solutions currently used in the US and abroad.
- In August 2005, CIC announced that sales increased by 92% compared to the corresponding quarter of the prior year. The revenue was attributable to purchases of CIC software by industry leaders such as: American General Life, Bell South, eCom Asia Pacific, Everypath, Misys Healthcare, PalmSource, Prudential, Snap-On Credit, State Farm and Wells Fargo.
Economic Spillover Benefits
- In early 1997, the Arthritis Foundation awarded CIC its “Ease-of-Use Seal of Commendation” for the company’s Handwriter® products. The Foundation’s Commendation Program, founded in the late 1980’s, recognizes products and packaging that are particularly accessible and easy to use. The award followed a favorable review by health professionals and arthritis patients.
- In 1997 and 1998 CIC announced that its Jot® product was embedded in the Palm-size PC operating system from Microsoft and on next generation Symbian OS-based smartphones from Ericsson Mobile Communications AB, respectively.
- In 2002, CIC reached an agreement with PalmSource to incorporate their latest Jot® product into the Palm Operating System, replacing the original Graffiti handwriting recognition system. According to Palm, over 39 million devices have been shipped worldwide since shipments of the device commenced.
- In 2004, CIC licensed its e-Signature® software to Wells Fargo Bank and State Farm Insurance for enterprise-wide deployments in applications designed to dramatically lower the cost of paper-based processes and to reduce fraud.
Date created: October 7, 2005
December 7, 2006