Spell Script, an educational app created by Nebojša Kamber and Branko Sedlar, won the Popular Choice Award as part of the recent MyScript App Challenge. The game enables users to practice their English, French, German, Italian and Spanish handwriting and spelling skills in a fun and interactive way. A scoreboard of top players, which ranks players by spelling level on a daily, weekly and “all time” basis, provides users with added motivation to improve their skills while beating the competition.
We talked to Nebojša about the inspiration behind Spell Script and how MyScript technology made it possible.
Can you tell us a little bit about your background and experience as a developer?
Both Branko and I have experience in PHP, but since I’m older, I’ve coded a few more years. Other than that, we’ve primarily focused on web platforms. Branko has also developed some Visual Basic desktop apps.
How did you come up with the idea for Spell Script?
The idea for a game focused on spelling came from my wife Marija who is a language professor. Since none of the spelling apps Branko and I initially found on the App Store featured digital ink technology, we decided to make one of our own. After all, spelling is frequently used to learn a certain language, so exercising handwriting for that language makes perfect sense.
How easy or difficult was it to work with MyScript digital ink technology?
Branko and I had no problems working with the MyScript tools. Ironically, I developed an Angular app based on an old screencast that used a low level HTML Canvas API and jQuery. It wasn’t until later that I found out about the MyScript web components, which are higher level and would’ve sped up my app development.
What motivated you to enter the MyScript App Challenge?
In September, Branko and I won fourth prize in the EU Life App Challenge for our app Fun Stats. It was so thrilling that we wanted to test our creativity in another challenge. Just a few days later, we entered the MyScript App Challenge.
Can you share a bit about your experience using MyScript products? What are some of the benefits?
It’s fascinating that MyScript digital ink technology has such good handwriting recognition. Branko and I tried our best to confuse it with poor handwriting, but it excelled – especially when dealing with long words. We were pleasantly surprised it supported so many different languages including Cyrillic script. That level of adaptability is very rare in the tech industry.
What industries do you think handwriting recognition software has the potential to impact moving forward?
Handwriting is not just an input method, it’s user interaction. Although handwriting has historically been associated with paper, it can also be used in the digital world to enhance, simplify, and speed up user interactions. Some potential applications include implementing handwriting recognition software with a machine to help it learn user-specific interactions such as word abbreviations and emoticons. Besides productivity and education apps, it can even be used in games like the one we created.
What interests do you have outside of development?
Branko is a gamer, who likes playing his guitar and going to the gym. As for me, when I’m not coding or exploring some new technology, I like to swim, read a book, or go for long walks with my wife.
Note to developers: Check back soon to meet the rest of the MyScript App Challenge winners. Visit our Developer web site to learn how you can build your own app using MyScript technology.