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Startup develops handwriting recognition technology for Kindle Touch

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Announced on the company’s official site recently, Seattle-based Puzzazz has designed a technology called Touchwrite that recognizes letters and numbers on e-readers. While handwriting technology isn’t a new achievements, this is the first time any company has found a way to use the technology on devices like Amazon’s Kindle Touch. Puzzazz officials have shown off an example of the technology working on a Kindle while playing a game of Sudoku. Users can draw a number within a Sudoku box on the game board and it appears on the Kindle. Users also have a choice between drawing a tiny version of the number in a specific box or drawing a large version which is placed wherever the finger originated. In addition, users can tap the screen in order to place potential guesses on the game board.  

Anyone with a Kindle Touch can try out the handwriting recognition themselves within Sudoku Unbound Volume 3, an ebook with 100 Sudoku puzzles to solve. In an interview with GeekWire, Puzzazz founder and CTO Roy Leban mentioned that the company had to study a variety of handwriting samples in order to accommodate all potential users.

Leban stated “We think what we’re doing here is the future of books.” When asked if Puzzazz is working with Amazon on licensing the technology for integration into the next version of the Kindle Touch, Leban declined to comment on the possibility. The company could also attempt to license the technology to other publishers interested in creating an interactive book on the Kindle platform.

Beyond Sudoku puzzles, anyone that likes to complete crossword puzzles could also use this type of technology. If the handwriting recognition advances beyond simple letters or numbers, Kindle owners could potentially write notes within sections of a book or share handwritten notes with other Kindle users.