October 11, 2011, 12:45 PM — The most basic touch interface is still paper and pen, which drives a vast array of business processes. An updated application uses a high-tech pen to digitize handwritten text, data and drawings and integrate the information directly with Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010.
The new version of Capturx boasts tighter integration with Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010 and greater workflow automation, and lets you create rich, searchable PDF files with the captured information.
The Capturx application relies on the digital pens, complete with Bluetooth radios, developed by Swedish-based Anoto, with accompanying software. Capturx was developed by Adapx, a Seattle-based Anoto partner that creates pen interfaces for a range of back-end enterprise applications.
The pen looks like a somewhat enlarged ballpoint pen, packed with a processor, Bluetooth radio, camera, inkwell and force sensor. The camera photographs the writing on a paper or other form that's been printed using a special pattern of thin, nearly invisible black dots (Anoto partners can provide the preprinted forms or end users can print them on a regular printer). The pen's camera takes 50-100 photos per second, using the dots to track the relative motions of the pen. The software "translates" the movements into a kind of digital "ink," precisely recreating the written words, numbers and even drawings by the physical pen.
Adapx combines this technology with handwriting or character recognition software to create editable text. Its new version of Capturx for Microsoft SharePoint Server creates a more advanced offering for paper-based employees than the company's initial "rudimentary" SharePoint product two years ago, says Ted Gauld, vice president of product management for Adapx.
(The vendor also has a version that works with Microsoft OneNote, a note-taking application.)