Palm OCR is Finally coming!
Earlier this week WizCom Technologies announced they are developing a scanning Pen module for the Visor. The QuickLink Pen is of particular interest to all Palm OS owners, because connectivity with it would make "pocket OCR" a reality. Read all about it in this exclusive article by Mike Cane.
Palm OS OCR is Finally Coming!
Mike Cane (firstname.lastname@example.org)
October 28, 1999
A Palm Infocenter Exclusive
Earlier this week, WizCom Technologies announced it would develop an OCR Springboard module for Handspring's Visor, called the QuickLink Module. Reliable sources have provided additional information which is of interest to non-Visor PalmOS owners too.
WizCom Technologies is the manufacturer of two handheld pen-like scanning devices: QuickLink Pen, which can read text and put it in electronic form to upload to a PC; and the Quicktionary line of multilingual readers, which can read text in various languages and provide translations on its built-in screen. The QuickLink Pen is of particular interest to PalmOS owners, because connectivity with it would make "pocket OCR" a reality.
Beginning in December 1999, all PalmOS owners will be able to "pour" text in directly from the QuickLink Pen via IrDA connection. This capability will be provided via a PalmOS program to be made available from WizCom Technologies' website. This will allow all IrDA-equipped PalmOS units -- including Visors -- to have "pocket OCR" before the end of the year. Impatient Visor owners will not have to wait for the Springboard QuickLink Module.
Second, cellphone IrDA connections to the QuickLink Pen will also be possible. (I will leave the possible uses for this feature to the imaginations of those who, unlike me, actually like and use cellphones.)
The QuickLink Pen currently provides both serial and IrDA connections to PCs. In the first quarter of 2000, USB connectivity will also be made available, allowing faster text transfers to PCs (and, one hopes, to Macs as well).
Other features for the QuickLink Pen that will be forthcoming sometime in the first quarter of 2000 are speech annotation, bar coding, and, incredibly, graphic capture.
WizCom Technologies intends its QuickLink Pen product to become a platform by releasing an SDK for developers to create additional applications. It is currently the only pen-like OCR device on the market that is both upgradable and expandable.
In a report describing events at Internet World 1999, I stated:
I want to be able to scan materials from books, magazines, and newspapers at home, the public library (especially there -- the copy machines seem to be leftovers from the USSR!), research libraries, and at offices (not to mention trade shows!) [... a]nd I want to be able to do this with a PalmOS unit (be it a Palm or a Visor or a TRG). [...T]hink of it -- college students have to go through books (often books that cannot be removed on loan, from research libraries) for thesis materials, businesspeople often come across interesting printed information they just *know* they should carry with them, and all of us sooner or later come across some paragraph or short item we'd like to keep (often we clip it out on paper!). It is my belief that the Visor's Springboard slot makes the market for palmheld OCR a reality.I was too pessimistic; believing that a Springboard module was the only way to achieve true "pocket OCR." WizCom Technologies' QuickLink Pen will allow all PalmOS owners to do it via IrDA. And sooner than I had ever expected or even hoped possible.
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This vs. barcode reader?
So maybe I'm being a bit tough. Don't get me wrong, I think that it's a fantastic idea. But not worth the several hundred dollars they'll probably charge. If someone's specifically out there entering data, there are better ways for most. It's too big and too expensive, I would assume, to use it occasionally; if it was $20 I'd buy one. Some niche markets exist, I'm sure, but this would have to go above and beyond any expectations in terms of recognition speed and reliability, as well as cost, size, and weight, to enter into widespread use.
If anyone wants me to review one, though, just drop me a note, I'd be happy to. ;)
RE: This vs. barcode reader?
OCR for PalmOS--I'd Buy It
OCR looks promising because it would allow me to store textbook chapters or teacher handouts, and give them the portability I already enjoy from my class notes.
My question is this: why limit to text? Why not make a greyscale scanner, with OCR as an option. It would be a convienient way to get imageviewer pictures.
our Palm (e.g. Professionals). I sure wish they would
create an interface cable which can go into the hot
synch port and then feed text into the memo app.
After all, this port already accepts text input from
keyboard such as GoType.
- I got one -Tuckermaclain
- RE: Don't we have this already? -Tuckermaclain
- RE: Palm brand will return in 2018, with devices built by TCL -richf
- RE: Palm brand will return in 2018, with devices built by TCL -dmitrygr
- Palm phone on HDblog -palmato
- Palm PVG100 -hgoldner
- RE: Like Deja Vu -PacManFoo
- Like Deja Vu -T_W