Digital ink vs. OCR

Before going any further, it is important to make the difference between digital ink and optical character recognition.

Handwriting recognition generally refers to two different and fundamental technologies, namely:

  • off-line recognition or Optical Character Recognition (OCR),
  • on-line recognition or digital ink recognition.

Whereas OCR applications use pixel images originating from cameras or scanners, on-line recognition systems analyze a sequence of points in 2D that describes the trajectory of the tip of a digital pen.

In brief, if you want to recognize the content of an image or a scanned file, we cannot help. But if you want to have your notes recognized as you write, then MyScript is probably your best shot!

Digital ink

MyScript performs on-line recognition and works exclusively on digital ink as input. Digital ink can be defined as a series of strokes. A stroke is defined as the trajectory of a finger or stylus, from the moment it touches the writing area until it is lifted again. It is represented as a sequence of 2D points (x;y) ordered by time (t). Digital ink thus refers to a dynamic process that takes into account where strokes start, where strokes end, and in which order they were drawn.

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