Write On

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One of the bigger challenges that seems to face integrators of vehicle infotainment systems is input. All manner of approaches are tried, from virtual keyboards on screens to mouse-like devices that permit pointing and clicking.

A German company, Paragon Software Group (penreader.com), thinks it has a better idea with its PenReader 9.0 software, which, its name notwithstanding, doesn’t require a pen or other stylus, but one’s finger.

The handwriting recognition package allows the user to input information on a handwriting-sensitive touchscreen in any of 42 supported packages. The company claims that the software, which can be readily integrated into vehicle systems as it can be configured to work with the pervasive operating systems, “requires no special training or handwriting adjustment” yet is 97% accurate.

Paragon Software notes that both Audi and BMW are offering handwriting recognition capabilities in some of their systems, and that it has been in the handwriting recognition software space since 1997, so this isn’t an app from nowhere.

One thing about the notion, however: How many young people, who seem the most keen on info- tainment, even know what “writing” without a keyboard really is?