Handwriting Recognition is Not Ready for Prime Time Either

My previous blog dismissed Microsoft Voice Command as a useful tool under optimum conditions (something one blog reader disagrees with). Those of you use use Voice Command regularly and successfully probably also disagree with me. And, that is fine. I’ll chalk that up to differing user experiences.

The more surprising thing that occured to me as I wrote a response to the Voice Command fan is that Handwriting Recognition has also failed. I’m somewhat surprised to find myself saying this since I often use HWR myself daily. However, I only use it for short entries (entering a short calendar appointment). It is too slow and error prone for taking notes at a conference or during some other information-rich (take lots of notes) meeting.

The real slam against against HWR is the move towards mobile devices with thumb keyboards (following the lead of the Blackberry and Treo devices). The lack of update on the Tablet PC may be another indicator that the good ol’ QWERTY keyboard (whether full or thumb sized) still rules the input of data into computing devices.