Microsoft, Anoto team on pen-based .Net computing

Swedish pen-based technology developer Anoto AB is to incorporate Microsoft Corp.'s .Net platform in its electronic pen-and-paper platform, the companies announced Thursday.

Anoto, a subsidiary of C Technolgies AB, licenses its technology to developers that want to include handwritten text and graphics capabilities into PCs, cell phones, pagers or PDAs (personal digital assistants).

A normal-looking, if slightly chunky pen writes with real ink on paper or other material printed with a pattern of dots. A camera inside the pen takes digital pictures of the pattern in front of it, every 50th of a second, and stores this information until it is downloaded via Bluetooth to a computer. This data is then interpreted to re-create the pen's movements, Anoto explains on its Web site.

The next version of the application-development kit for Anoto's technology is being developed using Microsoft's Visual Studio .Net development tool. This will make it easier for developers to build it into larger applications, the companies said. A version will be developed for Windows XP, allowing users to manipulate the text image in applications like Microsoft Office, a joint statement said.

The companies will jointly promote the Anoto technology, they said in the statement.

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