PalmSource Licenses CIC's Jot for Graffiti 2
(Updated 1/14 2:35pm) Grafitti as you know it is about to change. Communication Intelligence Corporation (CIC) and PalmSource Inc. announced today a licensing agreement for CIC's Jot handwriting recognition software for the next generation of data input for the Palm OS. PalmSource will enhance Jot and rebrand it as Grafitti 2, powered by Jot.
Under this agreement, "Graffiti(R) 2 powered by Jot," will be embedded by PalmSource in current versions of its Palm OS platform provided to licensees. The new Graffiti 2 handwriting software supports an intuitive, more natural form of input, minimizing learning time for new users and easing the transition for experienced users.
The motivations for this dramatic change to the Palm OS are dual. Back in 1997 Xerox sued U.S. Robotics, which owned Palm Computing at the time and was later bought by 3Com, claiming that Graffiti infringed a patent Xerox received in 1997. Palm was later spun off from 3Com. In Dec 2001, Judge Michael Telesca declared that Xerox's patent is "valid and enforceable", and that Graffiti does infringe on it. Palm Inc has appealed the judgment and will continue to defend it's rights in court. It is very possible that this issue could remain tied up the US legal system for years to come. Even if the final descision is in Palm's favor, they are now fully committed to Grafitti II as the next generation input method.
Because of the lawsuit, PalmSource decided to explore their options and commissioned studies on alternative methods for PDA data input. They concluded that Jot was the superior choice over graffiti because it allows for a more natural and intuitive method of data input. The move is also designed to make learning data input on the palm os easier for new and inexperienced users and thus broaden the appeal of the Palm OS by making it easier to learn for the average user.
PalmSource will be enhancing Jot and has already made versions specific for Palm OS 4x and 5x available to licensees. Palm Soultions Group has announced that they will release products incorporating Grafitti II later this year on a upcoming device running Palm OS 5.2. Palm SG announced back in October that it had licensed Jot for the upcoming Tungsten W GSM smart-phone. PalmSource is also working on creating an online download preview application for Grafitti II, we will post info when it becomes available. Alternatively you can download or purchase the current version of Jot from CIC.
UPDATE: This week PalmSource informed licensees of the release of updated versions of the Palm OS 5 family: Palm OS* 5.2 for ARM; and the Palm OS 4 family: Palm OS* 4.1.2 for 68k, respectively. (NOT Palm OS 5.1.2 as we previously reported) As a part of these standard maintenance releases, PalmSource has included the new handwriting recognition engine Graffiti 2.
"Jot has established the kind of broad based consumer acceptance in the Palm community that made it a natural choice for us," said David Nagel, president and chief executive officer of PalmSource. "Graffiti 2 is a superior handwriting recognition system that will enhance the ease of use that Palm OS is known for. We expect this technology to appeal to a wide range of users who will be able to easily take notes and write memos on their Palm Powered(TM) devices."
Jot is a character-based recognizer that was developed by CIC after years of research in the field of pattern recognition. The product is ideally suited for portable computing because it offers a fast and highly accurate means of entering text on small devices. Jot recognizes both English and Roman-based European characters in a very natural way supporting broader market appeal for these products.
"Based upon the experience we gained over the past several years by providing Jot directly to the Palm OS developer and end user community we believe that Graffiti 2 powered by Jot will provide Palm OS users the most natural and intuitive experience possible." Stated Guido DiGregorio, CIC's chairman and chief executive officer.
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