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The Callpaper Concept

Published on Apr 02, 2024


The ease of use provided by the classic pen-and-paper "interface" is unsurpassed. Except for writing long text passages, most of us regard it as the most convenient way of expressing, conveying, and storing one's thoughts and ideas.

However, pen and paper are hardly supported by current information technology. The integration of paper-based devices and modern computers has been hampered by two problems: the difficulty of recording handwriting without affecting the natural look and feel of pen and paper, and the insufficient recognition rates provided by handwriting recognizers.

However, considerable progress has been made over the recent years. While new and highly sophisticated pen-based hardware is announced almost monthly nowadays, handwriting recognition rates are steadily improving and will soon reach a level of common acceptance. These developments pave the way for a better integration of pen and paper into the daily workflow.

The main idea of the concept described in the following sections is to generate a so-called model file for all paper documents expecting handwritten input. A model file describes the structure of a document and provides the context knowledge necessary for handwriting recognition. Moreover, it contains information about how the recognized data should be processed, including its final destination.

A unique ID printed on each document specifies the corresponding model file. Writers can access the model file of a document via the Internet, under the number specified on the document. In practice, this means calling the (phone) number of a server dispatching model files, which motivates the name of the concept "Callpaper" - a very transparent concept for the writer. The Callpaper concept nicely supports the simultaneous generation of both paper copies and electronic copies of the same document, with-out imposing any additional load on a writer. It thus introduces the benefits of information technology into paper-based processes without affecting the traditional workflow.


What are the advantages and disadvantages of paper when compared to the devices of modern information technology? Though this seems to be an easy question, we must now admit that we have not answered it properly during the recent years, considering the fact that many of us were predicting an ever decreasing paper consumption caused by the technological progress. In fact, the advantages of paper have been grossly underestimated, in particular when it is utilized in combination with pens. Of course, the disadvantages of paper are obvious:

" Limited feedback on user input,

" Limited access and search functions,

" Slow transfer et cetera.

And yet, paper combines features that no other hardware device can offer.

" Paper has a high resolution and is thus pleasant to read.

" Paper can be easily folded and crushed.

" Paper is very cheap,

" Paper provides us with a strikingly simple way of deleting data, namely disposing old paper and replacing it by new one.

" Paper supports fast input of both textual as well as graphical data.

" Paper does not re-quire tedious eye-hand coordination since the cursor is directly under the pen tip.

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