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Handwriting recognition is the ability of a computer or device to take as input handwriting from sources such as printed physical documents, pictures and other devices, or to use handwriting as a direct input to a touchscreen and then interpret this as text.
The input is usually in the form of an image such as a picture of handwritten text that is fed to a pattern-recognition software, or as real-time recognition using a camera for optical scanning.
Handwriting recognition is the ability of a computer or a mobile device to read handwriting as actual text. The most common use case in today’s mobile world is handwriting recognition as a direct input to a touchscreen through a stylus or finger. This is useful as it allows the user to quickly jot down numbers and names for contacts as compared to inputting the same information via the onscreen keyboard. This is because most people are more comfortable with writing and can do it quickly. This feature may not be native to most smartphones or tablets, but many applications for handwriting recognition are available.
Optical character recognition (OCR) is the most mainstream technique used for handwriting recognition. This is done by scanning a handwritten document and then converting it into a basic text document. This also works by taking a picture of a handwritten text. OCR is basically a form of image recognition that is meant to recognize handwriting instead of faces or shapes such as landmarks.