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Softpro and Wacom: First Customer for the Next Generation Signature Tablet SignPad

11-01-2007 10:21 AM CET | Business, Economy, Finances, Banking & Insurance

Press release from: SOFTPRO

SignPad - The LCD Signature Tablet - a joint development of Wacom and Softpro captures static and dynamic (biometric) characteristics of signatures in real time

SignPad - The LCD Signature Tablet - a joint development of Wacom and Softpro captures static and dynamic (biometric) characteristics of signatures in real time

As the first organization worldwide, the Berliner Sparkasse will introduce the next generation signature tablet named SignPad in their primary process on a large scale. The SignPad tablet allows customers of the Berliner Sparkasse to sign their banking documents and transactions both digitally and securely. The device was especially developed for the digitizing of handwritten signatures in close co-operation with Wacom and Softpro. Beginning in December 2007, all 150 private client centers in the branches of the Sparkasse will be equipped with this new interface device. "Paperless signing" will become a reality when customers sign on the display of the SignPad using Softpro’s leading signature software solution, called SignDoc. The Berliner Sparkasse expects will save on the cost of paper handling and archiving, as well as enjoying the enhanced functionality of the SignPad.

The SignPad has a cordless, battery-free pen. The signature is captured on a non-reflective 5" TFT LCD. The device offers enough space to cater for longer signatures as well, like when some customers may sign with two surnames. The tablet display is designed to offer the same signing feeling as if writing on paper.

The Berliner Sparkasse decided to use the SignDoc tablet from Softpro, the leading solution for trustworthy capturing, administration, and verification of handwritten signatures in combination with the SignPad. Joachim Wangnet, responsible for the project at the Berliner Sparkasse, is convinced by the SignPad: ”We have tested different input devices, but the SignPad has convinced us that signing digitally can be comfortable, robust, secure and cost-effective, all at the same time. This is why we have chosen it.”

The SignPad was primarily developed for all those business processes where hard copies are still being printed for the sole purpose of capturing handwritten signatures. Using different media is costing time and money, and has several security loopholes. The tablet enables a trustworthy capture for digitizing handwritten signatures for different purposes, from the teller, to points of sale, and for checkout to self-service terminals.

Peter Sommer, Business Development Manager at Wacom Europe: “When we presented our prototype at CeBIT this year, we were overwhelmed by the positive feedback the tablet received from the financial community. At Europe’s leading show for enterprise content management, DMS, the joint development of Wacom and Softpro won one of awards for innovation in a large visitor survey in late September 2007. We are happy to be able to present our first joint client for this solution with Softpro today.”

Ralph Maute, Product Manager at Softpro: “No matter what standard you choose, Luminance, contrast, or speed of the display, Wacom has developed a product that can fulfill all expectations and we are really excited about the many inquiries we receive from all over the world to introduce our customers to the tablet that we market as “SignPad”. Clients from the financial industry in particular have commented the design as classy and ergonomic. Softpro and Wacom Europe have been coorperating for several years now. Wacom’s STU-500 is another highlight in this partnership and a fundamental cornerstone to our future success.”

Technical Details of the Next Generation Signature Tablet - SignPad

SignPad features a compact no-reflective TFT LC Display. Users sign directly on the display with a cordless, battery-free pen, exactly as they would on paper. The display comes with a VGA resolution (640 x 480 pixels, width x height), which enables corporate customers to post additional content like terms and conditions, payment amounts etc., on the display while their customers sign. The 5’’ screen is wide enough for even long signatures. Signing on a SignPad tablet is just as convenient as writing on paper because of the real-time visualization of the signature screen and its paper-like surface. The reflective display has a high contrast ,just like normal paper. The SignPad tablet has an attractive value for money, durability, and a display that does not need a backlight to achieve its extraordinary high contrast.

The tablet allows capturing both the static image and the dynamic (biometric) signals of the signature unrivaled in quality and reliability. While writing on the display, the sensor captures unique biometric information about the signature, such as time and pressure coordinates. The integrated digitizer is capable of sensing up to 512 different levels of pressure. The location of the digitizer pen is captured via the XY coordinates with a reading resolution of 2540 lpi. The individual pressure profile, writing rhythm, and speed help retain the unique character of the signature. As the tablet delivers an outstanding accurate differentiation of captured pressure levels in combination with a high sampling rate of the captured signature data from the SignPad, it is also very reliable for usage in the dynamic signature verification processes. Signatures captured on a SignPad are considered very unique to the person signing, making forgery nearly impossible.

In close combination with SignDoc, it is possible to create a so-called “advanced electronic signature” - according to the European Directive for Electronic Signatures - which secure the authenticity and integrity of electronic documents in a trustworthy manner.

Background Information: What is an “Advanced Electronic Signatures”?

The terminology “Advanced Electronic Signatures” was first used in the EU Directive 1999/93/EC. It’s the directive which established the framework for electronic signatures in the EU.“Advanced Electronic Signatures” are defined in Article 2, 2: “Advanced electronic signature” means an electronic signature which meets the following requirements: (a) it is uniquely linked to the signatory; (b) it is capable of identifying the signatory; (c) it is created using means that the signatory can maintain under his sole control; and (d) it is linked to the data to which it relates in such a manner that any subsequent change of the data is detectable. The implementation in country laws varies. For Germany it is to be found in “Signaturgesetz” (SigG) § 2 Abs. 2” (law on signatures) from 2001.

SignPad & SignDoc at Trade Shows and Conferences

The SignPad will also be demonstrated at two upcoming shows of BAI in the US, the first in Las Vegas, at the BAI Retail Delivery Show, (booth 1269) from November, 13 to 15, and in Dallas at the BAI Transpay from February, 5 to 7. Additionally, the pad will be showcased at CeBIT in March 2008 in Hanover and at several events throughout the financial industry.

More inofrmation is available at

Joerg-M. Lenz
Manager PR

Wilhelmstrasse 34
71034 Boeblingen
Tel: +49 7031 / 6606 0
Fax: +49 7031 / 6606 66

Wacom Europe GmbH
Michael Domke

Europark Fichtenhain A9
47807 Krefeld
Tel: +49 2151 / 36 14 304
Fax: +49 2151 / 36 14 333


The SOFTPRO Group is the worldwide leading vendor of systems for capture and verification of handwritten signatures. The company is based in Boeblingen, Germany with local subsidiaries in North America (Wilmington, Delaware), the United Kingdom, and Asia-Pacific (Singapore).

The group currently employs an international staff of over 60 people, enabling more than 200 companies worldwide to streamline their document and transaction workflows.

With its Biometric product line, SOFTPRO provides solutions for securing the authenticity and integrity of documents within electronic processes, such as those required for legal contracts. For this purpose, a unique signature technology is used to extract and evaluate both the static and dynamic (biometric) characteristics of handwritten signatures.
SOFTPRO’s "Fraud Prevention Solutions" portfolio provides a holistic approach to detecting and preventing fraud in paper-based processes (such as payment transactions), as well as increasing operational efficiency using signature management and verification solutions.
Among SOFTPRO’s customers are American Express, Bank of America, Barclays, Citigroup, Discover Financial, Ingolstadt Hospital, JPMorgan Chase, Lloyds TSB, SEB, Standard Bank of South Africa, TeleCash (First Data) and Wachovia.
Since 2002, the offer to secure electronic documents with handwritten signatures extended the customer portfolio of SOFTPRO to other industries such as banking and insurance, health/pharma, retail, government, automotive and logistics.

Frost & Sullivan, one of the leading growth consulting companies worldwide, presented SOFTPRO GmbH with its "Customer Service Leadership Award 2007" for having excelled in serving its customers and gaining superior customer satisfaction levels. This award recognizes the company that has gained the best insights into customer needs and product demands.

About Wacom

Wacom Europe GmbH is a subsidiary of Wacom Company, Ltd. (Tokyo Stock Exchange 6727). Founded in 1983, Wacom is a global company based in Japan with subsidiaries and affiliate offices around the world to support marketing and distribution in over 150 countries. Wacom’s vision to bring people and technology closer together through natural interface technologies has made it the world’s leading manufacturer of pen tablets, interactive pen displays, and digital interface solutions. The advanced technology of Wacom’s intuitive input devices has been used to create some of the most exciting digital art, films, special effects, fashion and designs around the world and provides business and home users with their leading interface technology to express their personality. Millions of customers are using its cordless, battery-free, pressure-sensitive pen technology.

The company also offers its products as OEM solutions to leading manufacturers serving incremental markets. Wacom’s patented digital interface technology, called Penabled®, is also offered as an integrated solution to strategic partners. Most Tablet PC manufacturers count on the advanced features and reliability of Penabled technology to deliver a superior pen experience. Penabled technology is also playing an essential role in the development of leading-edge mobile devices.

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