Graphical Input Language software system (GRAIL)

GRAIL

Curvature

Were it not for Jack Schaedler’s article Back to the Future of Handwriting Recognition I’d still be living in ignorance. For a start I was unaware it was the 50th anniversary of handwriting recognition software and then it did not ever occur to me that it is all about data points, co-ordinates and mathematics. I had never asked myself the question, “How exactly does a digital device replicate drawing and handwriting? “

This recognition scheme meets its primary objective of enabling any user to communicate naturally with a computer. A user is not distracted by any operational mechanics but, rather, may concentrate on [their] problem.”

– Gabriel Groner (1966)

Exactly. I have just used the drawing functions on a device. Yet understanding them is a wonderful insight into a practical and seemingly necessary part of our modern lives. We like to use digital devices for drawing and handwriting. Jack Schaedler does more than make a good case for it. He explains the mathematics, the processes and the logic behind how a device recognizes and creates writing. The webpage itself is a good learning tool because it enables you to interact with it , see what happens, change what you are doing and see again. It’s applied mathematics and it demonstrates very ably how valuable and important cross curriculum input, knowledge, ideas exchanging and discussion are.

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