By Attar Naderi, Associate Director at Laserfiche
Handwriting unexpectedly plays a crucial part in the plot of the popular Netflix series The Watcher. Those ominous letters are coming from whom? Does the handwriting resemble anyone who has been to the house? Are there any matches that the graphologists can find before it’s too late?
Scenes on a subject as technical and methodical as handwriting analysis are uncommon in contemporary mystery dramas. However, a programme that closely examines the printed word has millions of viewers enthralled around the globe. However, there may be problems when handwriting is combined with the digital technology that has taken over our daily lives. Handwriting is still unquestionably an important part of the modern world.
The death of handwriting?
Influential publications such as TIME have been mourning the death of handwriting long before smartphones replaced the pens in our pockets. After all, emails and instant messages have largely supplanted the letter. Everyone from office workers to students now spends their days tapping into computers. Even signatures are falling into redundancy, as technologies like chip and pin, DocuSign, and biometrics promise simpler, stronger levels of authentication. But as we move into 2023, the physical act of writing still holds multiple benefits over its keyboard-based cousin.
Recent research published in the Psychological Science journal confirmed what many have long held to be true: handwriting is the best way to learn skills and retain knowledge, offering significantly faster, stronger retention than typing notes or watching videos. As the researchers explained, “the simple act of writing by hand provides a perceptual-motor experience that unifies what is being learned about the letters (their shapes, their sounds, and their motor plans), which in turn creates richer knowledge and fuller, true learning.” Handwriting is also simply faster and more accessible than digital methods of communication. Hospitals still process handwritten intake forms, government agencies often require handwritten business applications, and even health & safety inspection sheets must be filled and signed by hand.
The issues arise, however, when this information needs to be digitised. Manual data entry can be dull task, distracting staff from more fulfilling, impactful work. For business leaders to harness both the benefits of handwriting and the productivity of their employees, they need to leverage technology that instantly turns written notes into digital documents.
Handwriting recognition’s benefits for productivity
The journey towards modern handwriting recognition technology began in the 1970s when researchers at SRI International developed the ‘SRI Pen’, a novel method of inputting characters into a basic computer. Fast forward to 2022, and the technology, now known as Optical Character Recognition (OCR), has been upgraded beyond recognition. Today’s OCR tools claim accuracy levels of up to 99%, using cutting-edge AI to scan and extract searchable data from hand-written paper documents, including building permits, patient intake forms, student registration, and mortgage applications.
OCR’s headline advantage is that it increases workplace effectiveness, efficiency, and automation. It reduces the time, cost, and risk of errors from manual data entry, ensuring ultra-fast and accurate record-keeping. It offers greater physical storage space through the removal of hefty filing cabinets, while documents become editable and even recoverable in the event of a disaster. OCR even provides stronger data security and compliance: it removes the risk of paper loss or destruction, leverages state-of-the-art cybersecurity measures, and restricts access to information to prevent mishandling. And once content is uploaded, businesses can use the software to instantly scan and locate required snippets of information for outstanding internal and customer service.
Introducing OCR to a larger digital strategy
The most effective handwriting recognition software frequently integrates with larger cloud software. Employees can then instantly store scanned documents with their existing digital records. To help businesses structure the information and expand the reach of their business process automation, some content management providers even enable them to extract handwritten text from documents that are semi-structured. Also becoming “recognisable” are other forms of writing.
New intelligent capture technologies are starting to make it possible to fully text-scan and search audio and video files, like voicemails or meeting recordings. After all, today’s documents aren’t just text records anymore; they can be any kind of file that contains important, useful information. Organizations can create novel solutions to support their own business priorities, from enhancing resilience against staff shortages to delivering exceptional customer services, by automatically utilising structured and unstructured data from various formats.
Various methods, including OCR, are being used by modern organisations to rethink their data and processes. By shifting to digitise operations, business leaders can make sure they can make the most of their resources, boost productivity, and create a wonderful working environment. In order to save money while we wait for season two of The Watcher, it is now necessary to purchase intelligent content capture software. You should take into account how handwriting recognition might alter your office setting.