W3C For Immediate Release

Digital Ink Standard Enhances Device Integration

InkML Allows Developers to Store, Exchange User Gesture Data

http://www.w3.org/ — 20 September 2011 — W3C announced today a new standard for the exchange of "digital ink" on the Web. The Ink Markup Language (InkML) Recommendation can be used to store and exchange the output of an electronic pen or stylus as well as handwriting, gestures, sketches, music, and other notations.

"Pen input is a very natural way to use a device, whether for controlling the device, inputting information or communicating with other people," said Debbie Dahl, Chair of the Multimodal Interaction Working Group. "It's an especially compelling input mode for the variety of touchscreen-based devices that are currently entering the marketplace. But until now, pen input formats were largely proprietary, and so interoperability across devices and applications was limited. InkML changes this. It will be exciting to see how InkML enables new, interoperable and innovative applications based on handwriting, drawing, and symbols."

InkML is part of W3C's ongoing efforts to build One Web available from any device. A host of new applications are now possible thanks to this open standard, such as: pen-based text messaging; handwritten annotation of documents, photos, or other media; collaborative white boards; archiving of hand-written notes; and more efficient approaches to filling out forms.

Furthermore, when used in combination, pen and voice (and other input methods) can improve usability. For example, with combined pen and speech input, users can ask questions like "show me restaurants in this area" while drawing a circle on a map.

About the World Wide Web Consortium

The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) is an international consortium where Member organizations, a full-time staff, and the public work together to develop Web standards. W3C primarily pursues its mission through the creation of Web standards and guidelines designed to ensure long-term growth for the Web. Over 325 organizations are Members of the Consortium. W3C is jointly run by the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (MIT CSAIL) in the USA, the European Research Consortium for Informatics and Mathematics (ERCIM) headquartered in France and Keio University in Japan, and has additional Offices worldwide. For more information see http://www.w3.org/

Media Contacts

Ian Jacobs, <ij@w3.org>, +1.718.260.9447