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Hitachi Taps Codehost For Linux Tablet

Hitachi Wednesday said it has inked a deal to equip its upcoming Linux-based wireless Tablet-PC with handwriting recognition software from Codehost.

The computer maker said its Santa Clara, Calif.-based Internet Platform Business Unit will be working with the Culver City, Calif.-based Linux software developer on the open source version of its Hitachi VisionPlate brand.

In general, Tablet PCs are Windows-based computers with touch screens and features that work like laptop PCs or PDAs. Users can also input and manipulate data using a stylus. The devices have primarily been marketed to the enterprise with a price point starting at $2,000.

The Linux version of VisionPlate has a 10.4-inch display and runs Midori Linux over a 400MHz Transmeta Crusoe TM3200 processor. The system also has 64MB of on-board memory; 64MB of compact Flash; SMI SM712 video with integrated 2MB VRAM; Sound Blaster Pro 3.01 audio, 16-bit PCM sound source; internal 802.11b and two USB slots, two PCMCIA Type II slots and one MiniPCI Type III I/O port.

The Tablet is being marketed to industries such as retail, manufacturing and healthcare.

For example, Codehost says the handwriting recognition interface give physicians the equivalent of a digital memo pad in an electronic medical record, which cuts down on transcription mistakes and time.

"With our experience in Linux software development, we feel Codehost can be an instrumental partner in developing applications for a number of vertical markets that improve efficiency of data collection and processing without affecting the human interaction, in this case the doctor-patient relationship," said Codehost CEO Sam Bizri.

Hitachi says the graphical interface will include a handwriting recognition engine, and will be integrated with solutions developed by ReCare, which makes a wireless physician-centric charting platform.