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Millions of Camera phones can read handwriting

Realeyes3D, the pioneer of handwritten messaging, today announced that its handwritten messaging applications have been shipped in more than 23 million handsets worldwide as of Dec 31st, 2006. In the US market, Realeyes3D’s applications are now available in more than 12.5% of all camera phones sold in 2006, according to company estimates.

Handwritten messaging applications allow camera phone users to create and exchange messages that have been written on a piece of paper. A complement to text messaging, handwritten messaging is a newer, richer and more personal form of messaging. With handwritten messaging applications Digitizer™ and w-Postcard™, users can send messages that they create in their own handwriting, using a standard pen and any type of paper. Messages are not restricted to words, as in text messaging, but can be made of diagrams, maps, drawings, photos or images that convey emotions, moods, and feelings, creating highly personalized messages.

“In less that two years we’ve equipped 23 million camera phones in major markets worldwide with applications that offer the choice of sending handwritten messages instead of text or plain photographs,” said Benoît Bergeret, co-founder and CEO of Realeyes3D. “This is not only a very strong validation of our earlier vision, it also means that we are reaching critical mass. Now wireless operators can see that we’re able to help drive their messaging revenue.”

“By combining the power of personalization that only handwriting can provide with messaging and the effortless simplicity of taking a photo, Digitizer and w-Postcard both deliver indisputable value across the camera phone value chain,” said Philippe Dewost, Vice-President of Marketing and Business Development for Realeyes3D. “Wireless carriers now are seizing this potential and we are currently in the process of successfully referencing both applications with large global operators.”

Digitizer allows camera phone users to share personal messages that they create with a standard pen and paper. Users jot down a message, snap a picture of it, and Digitizer extracts the message from the camera image, resulting in a black-and-white or true-color clear, legible handwritten picture message that can be shared immediately with others. Digitizer messages are not limited to words but may also include drawings, maps, symbols or anything that can be created with a pen and paper. For mobile users with non-Latin alphabets, such as Japanese, Chinese or Korean, Digitizer is an ideal way to overcome the limitations of text messaging.

W-Postcard allows camera phone users to add comments, notes, doodles or drawings to pictures they have taken with their camera phone. Mobile users simply overlay the photo that they have taken with the handwritten content that they’ve created and captured, as described above with Digitizer. Users can manipulate the handwritten content by changing its size, color, placement and appearance to create a very personalized image that then can be stored or shared. W-Postcard makes pictures more personal, more valuable and more likely to be shared.

Because it makes use of existing messaging protocols such as MMS (GSM) and email (CDMA), handwritten messaging does not require specific software on the receiving handset side. Digitizer and w-Postcard are powered by Realeyes3D’s patented ink extraction technology, Visual Cortex.

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.