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Adobe is introducing new ways to scan, read and digitally sign documents on smartphones and tablets with the latest updates to its Adobe Sign and Sensei programs.

Adobe said Wednesday it will be the first company to deliver cloud-based digital signatures built on an open standard, something Adobe says is needed as more people seek to sign sensitive documents like medical forms without opening a desktop or laptop.

“Open standards propel entire industries forward, allowing interoperability between otherwise fragmented solutions, and paving the way for widespread adoption,” Bryan Lamkin, executive vice president and general manager of Digital Media at Adobe said in a statement. “Adobe pioneered digital signatures. And as the creator and champion of standards like PDF, we are proud to have once again rallied the industry to develop a new, open standard for digital signatures in the cloud, ensuring a great customer experience.”

As detailed by CMS Wire, digital signatures differ from regular electronic signatures in that they are more secure, and typically require some type of digital identification that is stored separately. Adobe championed a global standard for digital signatures and played a big role work done by the Cloud Signature Consortium, a group convened last year to make it easier for businesses in the European Union to deal with new stringent regulations related to online document signing in Europe like eIDAS.

Online document signing is an important and somewhat crowded market, with competitors like DocuSign jockeying with Adobe to lead the way. Electronic signatures have long represented one of the most important technologies integrated into Adobe’s Document Cloud, dating back to its acquisition of EchoSign in 2005.

Adobe said the new digital signature program will rollout over the next few weeks. Here are a few of the other new features and updates to Adobe Sign and Adobe Sensei designed to take these programs beyond ways to sign documents and into end-to-end workflow:

  • Users will be able to scan printed documents via mobile app and then send them out to be signed by others
  • Reading long, complicated documents will be easier with the ability to pinch and double tap text to change to change the size and reorganize it
  • A widget can be added to a device’s home screen to track and manage signatures on a document without opening an app
  • The programs will integrate with Sharepoint to request signatures and track progress of a document. DocuSign also has a Sharepoint integration.
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