Windows Azure Ink Recognition Not Currently Supported

Over the past two weeks I’ve tried to add ink recognition (ink-to-text) capability to my SpiveyWorks Notes. I recently successfully added ink capturing using Silverlight’s InkPresenter. This works great on a Tablet PC with a stylus or on touch screen like the HP TouchSmart desktops. Then I was able to serialize the Silverlight ink on the client, send it across to Windows Azure and server-side deserialize the XML and create WPF ink objects that I then saved to a PNG image to display for web browser’s that do not support Silverlight. While a person could not draw, they could at least see what other people had drawn. Ink is great for mindmapping and other free-form capturing of ideas. Getting all of this to work was pretty painless in Windows Azure. However, I wanted to take it one step further and convert the handwriting to text, ink-to-text, using the WPF InkAnalyzer class. This way I could convert the handwriting to text and index the text so users can search their handwritten notes. Yet, after attempting this I discovered that Windows Azure is only available in 64-bit editions and the WPF InkAnalyzer is dependent on a DLL that only works on 32-bit Windows, specifically the IALoader.dll that is found in the Windows SDK folder. Hopefully in the future there will be an IALoader.dll that is available on Windows Azure, but for now I am limited by the platform and can not convert ink-to-text on Windows Azure.

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