Yahoo Offers Handwritten Searching In Taiwan, Hong Kong

If you thought instant search suggestions and results was fun, get a load of this: At Yahoo Taiwan and Yahoo Hong Kong, searchers can handwrite their search queries and Yahoo will try to match the handwriting to letters, and then show suggested searches.

It’s all described in this Yahoo blog post, complete with screenshots showing how users can begin their search by using a “handwriting panel” next to the search button.

handwriting-1

Yahoo says that’s the Chinese language character for the first letter of Lady Gaga’s name. To the left of what the user has drawn, Yahoo shows six possible character matches. And once the searcher indicates which character s/he drew, Yahoo then shows 10 suggested searches.

handwriting2

Yahoo says this feature should make it easier for searchers who typically type their queries in Chinese, but the feature also accepts handwritten queries in English. Here are the results of me using the writing panel with the letter “s.”

letter-s

letter-s-suggest

You’ll need the latest version of Adobe’s Flash Player for this writing panel to work. Yahoo says the technology supports Traditional Chinese, Simplified Chinese, English, and numbers.

Related Topics: Channel: Consumer | Search Features: Query Refinement | Yahoo: Outside US | Yahoo: Search | Yahoo: User Interface

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About The Author: is Editor-In-Chief of Search Engine Land. His news career includes time spent in TV, radio, and print journalism. His web career continues to include a small number of SEO and social media consulting clients, as well as regular speaking engagements at marketing events around the U.S. He recently launched a site dedicated to Google Glass called Glass Almanac and also blogs at Small Business Search Marketing. Matt can be found on Twitter at @MattMcGee and/or on Google Plus. You can read Matt's disclosures on his personal blog.

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