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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Local Software Powers C-Pen

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Swedish company C Technologies has announced that its electronic C-Pen is to be fitted with Russian software designed by the ABBYY Software House.

C-Pen is an electronic pen-scanner capable of recording up to 200 pages of printed text. It can transfer scanned text, act as a portable dictionary, electronic notebook and organizer. C-Pen can also receive short message system communications and e-mail when connected to mobile phones or computers via its infrared port.

The new program is capable of working with 53 languages, which will allow the C-Pen to be sold on many more markets in addition to the United States and Western Europe.

A year ago, C Technologies announced a tender for the production of a new version of optical character recognition for the C-Pen. Almost all international OCR manufacturers, including the major U.S. company ScanSoft, took part.

"ABBYY's Fine Reader product proved to be the most suitable," said Stanislav Guchia, C Technologies' sales manager for Eastern Europe. "Not only did it have the best recognition results, it was also capable of working in 53 languages. This has allowed us to expand the C-Pen's geography, which until now supported only nine languages."

C-Pen has few competitors.

The only similar product is the Quicktionary manufactured by U.S. firm WizCom Technologies. While no more than 50,000 Quicktionaries have been sold, sales of the C-Pen exceed half a million, according to Dataquest information.

Since last December all C-Pens have been fitted with the OCR Fine Reader program under a licensing agreement with ABBYY. The original version of this program for Microsoft Windows had a capacity of 20 to 100 megabytes. The C-Pen version has been compacted to 2 megabytes.

"Our efforts were worth it," said Sergei Andreyev, general director of ABBYY, about the year that was spent on the project. "I wouldn't be surprised if in the near future our income from sales of this kind of program exceed sales of normal programs."

In addition to Fine Reader, C-Pen uses the Lingvo Russian-English, English-Russian dictionary software also designed by ABBYY.

ABBYY was founded by current president David Yang, a Chinese-Armenian graduate of the Moscow Physical Technical Institute. The company has 140 employees in four countries and specializes in artificial intelligence.

Yang is also founder and CEO of Cybiko Inc., which markets the Cybiko game and entertainment handset that is a craze among teens in the United States.

Just as with Cybiko, Russia is not itself regarded as a possible market for the electronic pen.

The main sales are expected to come from the American and Scandinavian markets.