Hacker Newsnew | comments | show | ask | jobs | submitlogin
Unicode Character Recognition (shapecatcher.com)
25 points by pixelcort 1208 days ago | comments



This looks fairly promising, but it's not there yet. For example, try drawing a capital sigma ( Σ ); if you don't get your top and bottom bars perfectly parallel there's a strong chance you'll get gibberish back. Or try pi ( π or Π ); a 1° change in the angle of your bars might make the difference between a handful of relevant results and a full page of nonsensical Devanagari and Gurmukhi characters. Or do a double dagger ( ‡ ); if your middle bar isn't perfectly straight up and down it might think you're doing cent ( ¢ ) or integral ( ∫ ). It seems like it's extremely difficult to get the same results for the same 'search' — every time you get wildly different answers because the slightest little difference in how you draw it changes how it reads it.

So i think the recognition algorithm needs a little work. I know you mentioned font limitations, so i suspect adding more of those would be a good start.

Also, i don't see Japanese support, which is unfortunate. If you could get that working i would be an instant fan. (I deal with transcription of Japanese a lot, and although i'm proficient in kana, my kanji skills are pretty poor and probably always will be. What i've always wanted is a tool that can return kanji characters based on a drawing WITHOUT requiring strict adherence to stroke order. That last requirement rules out every single tool i've found...)

Anyway good luck!

-----


I am getting an error.

This reminds me of a very useful project, Detexify: http://detexify.kirelabs.org/classify.html

-----


It does seem similar. I actually like Detexify's interface a little bit more because it doesn't require pressing a button after you've drawn your character, although I imagine that is a matter of preference.

Detexify's popularity and utility shows that this sort of thing could be very useful--I suspect I might end up using it myself in the future.

-----


For me, http://shapecatcher.com/ returns better results. Also, I'd suggest bookmarking option for search results.

-----


Ditto, on both counts. I think we crashed it.

-----


Yup, I get Error: error.

-----


shapecatcher.com works, www.shapecatcher.com does not.

The ajax urls are borked.

-----


Love the idea, thought the same thing after having seen detexify and doing web development looking for suitable Unicode glyphs (glyph lists are a pain in the, well...). Keep it up and by all means fix the current error. ;)

-----


This only works if you go to the base URL: shapecatcher.com instead of www.shapecatcher.com

Someone done goofed with the ajax.

-----


Disclaimer: Someone else made this; I just posted it to HN.

-----


fails horribly with any Chinese or Japanese (tested Kanji and hiragana) characters.

-----




Applications are open for YC Summer 2015

Guidelines | FAQ | Support | Lists | Bookmarklet | DMCA | Y Combinator | Apply | Contact

Search: