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Yahoo! Introducess Hand-Written Search in Asia

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 22 comments

Good news for Chinese speaking Yahooers in Hong Kong and Taiwan: Yahoo! is adding handwriting technology to its search engine so you don't have to go through the trouble of typing out each character.

Yahoo! this week debuted an interesting, new feature aimed at making life easier for its Asian users. The search engine yesterday revealed that users from Taiwan and Hong Kong can now handwrite their search queries instead of having to type in all the characters. The change should be especially useful to those who are new to computing.

"Typing search queries in Chinese can be challenging especially for new computer users because it requires memorizing Chinese character mapping rules," writes James Ying, product manager at Yahoo!. "Even experienced computer users don’t remember the mapping for all Chinese characters. The handwriting feature lowers the hurdle for people searching on Yahoo! Taiwan and Yahoo! Hong Kong."

To use the feature, all you have to do is open the writing panel by clicking the little pencil next to the search button and start drawing. When you draw a character, it'll show you six candidate characters that best match the character you drew. Once you've picked your character out of the six, you'll see a list of search suggestions.

The handwriting technology supports Traditional Chinese, Simplified Chinese, English, and numbers, and requires the latest version of Flash.

Source: Yahoo! Blog

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  • 20 Hide
    mgoblue3296 , September 9, 2010 11:53 PM
    At first I though that this would be really useful on iPhones and Androids and other mobile phones with touchscreens, and then I saw it required Flash. Sucks for iPhones.
  • 13 Hide
    Marco925 , September 10, 2010 2:31 AM
    NeeKoMove to english already!!!

    Chinese is a perfectly modern language on its own, it doesn't need ignorance from people like you who expect others to learn your language.
Other Comments
  • 20 Hide
    mgoblue3296 , September 9, 2010 11:53 PM
    At first I though that this would be really useful on iPhones and Androids and other mobile phones with touchscreens, and then I saw it required Flash. Sucks for iPhones.
  • 7 Hide
    xerroz , September 10, 2010 12:39 AM
    thats pretty neat
  • 3 Hide
    sabot00 , September 10, 2010 1:31 AM
    Baidu had this like a year ago.
  • -7 Hide
    NeeKo , September 10, 2010 1:38 AM
    Move to english already!!!
  • 13 Hide
    Marco925 , September 10, 2010 2:31 AM
    NeeKoMove to english already!!!

    Chinese is a perfectly modern language on its own, it doesn't need ignorance from people like you who expect others to learn your language.
  • 4 Hide
    NeeKo , September 10, 2010 2:43 AM
    English is not my language, I learned it because it is the "Global" language.

    My language is Spanish.
  • 7 Hide
    Marco925 , September 10, 2010 2:56 AM
    NeeKoEnglish is not my language, I learned it because it is the "Global" language.My language is Spanish.

    Granted, half the people who speak english coudln't be arsed to learn other global languages such as spanish, or french and expect those who don't speak english to just flock over. A thousand years of culture in these languages, and some could care less about the other ones as long as they aren't doing the work of learning.
  • -1 Hide
    victorintelr , September 10, 2010 5:10 AM
    Well...just one more example that Apple just can't have it always his way, and poor iPhone users (if they use Yahoo) Though I wonder actually how many Chinese speakers in Hong Kong and Taiwan have an iPhone and use google. Just hope that the pirated iPhone over there supports flash!
  • 0 Hide
    jackleung , September 10, 2010 6:38 AM
    Even I can do it with my Win7 machines by enable "Tablet PC Input Panel" (they are not tablet!), this is a very nice feature.
  • 0 Hide
    aleh1811 , September 10, 2010 8:43 AM
    The character being written in the screen save means female
  • -2 Hide
    bin1127 , September 10, 2010 10:06 AM
    NeeKoEnglish is not my language, I learned it because it is the "Global" language.My language is Spanish.


    There is no global language. You use the language depending on the situation. If you're stopped at the spanish border would you insist the border guard speak the "global" language? How about to your grandmother?
  • 6 Hide
    blackwidow_rsa , September 10, 2010 11:39 AM
    There is a global language, you can expect most business people to speak english and it's a major 2nd language in any country, and no, english isn't my 1st language, it's afrikaans :p 
  • 0 Hide
    alyoshka , September 10, 2010 11:41 AM
    LOL... as if the results for it's usual search weren't bad enough.... lol now you're going to have recognition errors to muck up the results
  • -1 Hide
    alyoshka , September 10, 2010 11:43 AM
    These guy surely live upto the the GIGO definition (Garbage In = Garbage Out)
  • 1 Hide
    warezme , September 10, 2010 1:56 PM
    seems Yahoo has no problem using Flash.
  • 1 Hide
    crom , September 10, 2010 2:09 PM
    You can already do this directly in the OS with the iPhone/iPod/iPad. I think Apple's new pad allows for this as well with the laptops and towers. You can draw out Chinese/Japanese/Korean etc words on it.
  • 1 Hide
    rolled , September 10, 2010 3:28 PM
    I don't think I know anybody in China that owns a computer that doesn't know how to type on it...
  • 0 Hide
    crossbow82 , September 10, 2010 5:55 PM
    Finally
  • 0 Hide
    gm0n3y , September 10, 2010 6:13 PM
    The problem I see here is that Chinese keyboards must be awful if its easier to write by hand than type. For Latin character languages, the keyboard is many times faster.
  • 0 Hide
    jsrudd , September 12, 2010 12:03 AM
    Seems useless except maybe for using it to look up a character that you didn't know. Ever tried writing a complex character with a mouse? It's tough.
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