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Yahoo! Introducess Hand-Written Search in Asia

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

  • mgoblue3296
    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.
    Reply
  • xerroz
    thats pretty neat
    Reply
  • sabot00
    Baidu had this like a year ago.
    Reply
  • NeeKo
    Move to english already!!!
    Reply
  • Marco925
    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.
    Reply
  • NeeKo
    English is not my language, I learned it because it is the "Global" language.

    My language is Spanish.
    Reply
  • Marco925
    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.
    Reply
  • victorintelr
    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!
    Reply
  • jackleung
    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.
    Reply
  • aleh1811
    The character being written in the screen save means female
    Reply