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  • A Brief History of Tablet Computers

    By Ryan J. Vetter, MA

    August 1, 2009

    1 Vetter, Ryan J., 2009

  • Vetter, Ryan J., 2009

    Tablet Computers: A Definition

    A tablet computer is a device with a touchscreen that allows for either pen input and/or touch/multi-touch gestures. The width and length is about that of a piece of A4 paper. Two varieties exist: 1. Hybrid Tablets (with keyboard) and Slate Tablets (sans keyboard)

    2 Vetter, Ryan J., 2009

  • Vetter, Ryan J., 2009

    Tablet Computers: Beginnings

    We can think of a tablet as being a slate that can record information, traditionally through input via a stylus, or, in ancient times, through inscriptions from sharp writing objects (primitive pens/styli).

    3

  • Vetter, Ryan J., 2009

    Ancient Tablets: 32,000+ Years Ago

    As reported in the BBC News in 2003, one of the oldest tablets was discovered in Mexico. Notable is the carving of the man on the Mammoth tusk: it is in the shape of the

    constellation Orion.4

  • Vetter, Ryan J., 2009

    A Rock Slate Tablet

    Mesopotamian Sumerian Medical Tablet, circa 2400 BC: reproduction.

    5

  • Vetter, Ryan J., 2009

    1888: Telautograph

    6

  • Vetter, Ryan J., 2009

    1888: Telautograph

    What is interpreted as the first tablet computer, the Telautograph is patented by Elisha Gray. In an interview in 1888, published in The Manufacturer & Builder (Vol. 20: No. 4: pages 85-86), Gray discussed his invention as follows:

    7

  • Vetter, Ryan J., 2009

    By my invention you can sit down in your office in Chicago, take a pencil in your hand, write a message to me, and as your pencil moves, a pencil here in my laboratory moves simultaneously, and

    forms the same letters and words in the same way. What you write in Chicago is instantly reproduced here in fac-simile. You may write in any language, use a code or cipher, no matter, a fac-simile is produced here. If you want to draw a picture it is the same, the picture is reproduced here. The artist of your

    newspaper can, by this device, telegraph his pictures of a railway wreck or other occurrences just as a reporter telegraphs his

    description in words.

    1888: Telautograph

    8

  • Vetter, Ryan J., 2009

    The Telautograph transmits electrical impulses (pen input) recorded by a potentiometer to the receiving station

    where a pen attached to a stepping motor reproduces the original input on a stationary sheet of paper. It became

    particularly popular transmitting signatures in the banking industry, and in the the health care industry in large

    hospitals for the timely delivery of doctors orders and patient information.

    1888: Telautograph

    9

  • Vetter, Ryan J., 2009

    1957: Styalator

    1957: More like todays tablets, the Styalator was the first digitizer tablet with a stylus used for handwriting

    recognition, paired with a computer.

    10

  • Vetter, Ryan J., 2009

    1964: Rand Tablet

    1964: The RAND Tablet, or Grafacon, is introduced, which functioned in much the same way as the Styalator as well as

    the Apple Graphics Tablet; through a magnetic signal, the Grafacon localized a stylus on the x, y and z axis, with its

    input being reproduced on a computer.

    11

  • Vetter, Ryan J., 2009

    1964: Rand Tablet

    12

  • Vetter, Ryan J., 2009

    1968: Dynabook

    1968: Dynabook... conceived of, by Alan Kay (Xerox Researcher). Kay released a now famous paper titled A Personal Computer for Children of All Ages in 1972 detailing

    the Dynabook as a fantasy device.

    13

  • Vetter, Ryan J., 2009

    1968: DynabookThe Dynabook, as a concept device, was to be a tablet computer aimed at children. The way Kay described it

    implied that, not only would the software and hardware have to be tightly conjoined, but it would require many of the online services we take for granted today. At any rate, Kay was touting a device, ideally, with no moving parts and

    haptic feedback - a touch screen.

    !

    The Dynabook never made it to market, however.

    14

  • Vetter, Ryan J., 2009

    1979: Apple Graphics Tablet

    This was a digitizer pad with a wired stylus. It was offered as a companion for the Apple II.

    15

  • Vetter, Ryan J., 2009

    1979: Apple Graphics Tablet

    16

  • Vetter, Ryan J., 2009

    1979: Apple Graphics Tablet

    As illustrated in a 1981 Apple Spring Catalogue, The Apple Graphics Tablet turns your Apple II system into an artists canvas. The tablet offers an exciting medium with easy-to-use tools and techniques for creating and displaying pictorial information. This OEM tablet, developed by Summagraphics, uses magnetostriction: it has built in alloy wires that localizes the stylus on x, y, and z axis points.

    17

  • Vetter, Ryan J., 2009

    1982: Pencept PenPad 200

    The Pencept PenPad 200 used a digitizer pad with stylus, along with a monitor. The sole input method was handwriting recognition, which, based on its gesture recognition algorithm, required little user training.

    18

  • Vetter, Ryan J., 2009

    1982: Pencept PenPad 200

    19

  • Vetter, Ryan J., 2009

    1989: GridPad Pen Computer

    Developed by Jeff Hawkins, founder of Palm Computing. Hawkings notes that he got his idea for the Palm Pilot from

    the GridPad Pen Computer.20

  • Vetter, Ryan J., 2009

    1989: GridPad Pen Computer

    Manufactured by Samsung.

    Specs: 5 lbs and 11.5" x 9.3" x 1.48".

    20MHz processor.

    20MB RAM and 40, 60, 80 or 120MB hard drive.

    10" diagonal backlit VGA display with 32 gray scales.

    Built in PCMCIA card slot, an internal fax/modem

    card, a floppy drive port and a standard keyboard port.

    3 hours on NiCad battery pack.21

  • Vetter, Ryan J., 2009

    1989

    What is to be the Russian company Paragraph Software, they license their write recognition software to Apple for the Original Newton MessagePad, which launches in 1993. It was an improvement on what the Newton team was working with at the time.

    22

  • Vetter, Ryan J., 2009

    1990

    The software recognizes both print and handwritten text using a combination of factors by analyzing: stroke formation, spacing between characters, speed of writing, among others. Built into the Original MessagePad, the recognition was poor, which adversely affected the performance, sales, and reputation of the Apple Newton.

    23

  • Vetter, Ryan J., 2009

    1991: Momenta Pentop

    24

  • Vetter, Ryan J., 2009

    1991: Momenta Pentop 386 based.

    Weight: 7 lbs.

    Supports gestures and handwriting

    recognition.

    Software: MS DOS and Windows.

    Detachable screen to use as notepad in

    meetings, etc.

    Backlit model price: $5495 USD.25

  • Vetter, Ryan J., 2009

    1992: Windows for Pen Computing

    Windows responds to the PenPoint OS by releasing Windows for Pen Computing: it was a series of add ons for MS Windows enabling pen input.

    26

  • Vetter, Ryan J., 2009

    1993: IBM ThinkPad 750p/360p

    Convertible Notebook that allowed for pen input.

    33 MHz i486SL.

    27

  • Vetter, Ryan J., 2009

    1995

    1995: Rosetta, developed at Apple (Lead Software Engineer Larry Yaeger). It is an improved print recognition technology, included in Newton OS 2.x and OS X (compatible with stylus based tablets/writing pads i.e. Wacom).

    28

  • Vetter, Ryan J., 2009

    1999: Aqcess Qbe Original Tablet PC

    29

  • Vetter, Ryan J., 2009

    1999: Aqcess Qbe Original Tablet PC

    Celeron 400 MHz.

    96 MB SDRAM.

    Windows 98 Second Edition.

    13.3 TFT Active Matrix color display (800

    x 600).

    Pen input.

    30

  • Vetter, Ryan J., 2009

    2001: Windows XP Tablet PC Edition

    Windows XP Tablet PC Edition is released.

    31

  • Vetter, Ryan J., 2009

    2003: Fingerworks

    Fingerworks develops touchscreen technologies later found in the iPhone.

    32

  • Vetter, Ryan J., 2009

    Most of this Latter Decade

    Various convertible tablet PCs come to market.

    33

  • Vetter, Ryan J., 2009

    Most of this Latter Decade

    Modern tablets for artists. These tablets require a computer for tethering. Artists can sketch, for instance, in Adobe Photoshop, directly on screen with a stylus.

    34

  • Vetter, Ryan J., 2009

    All of the images included in this presentation are copyright their respective holders: they are used under fair usage guidelines (for educational purposes). The rest of the material is Copyright Ryan J. Vetter, 2009.

    35

History of Tablet Computers

Oct 11, 2015

ReportDownload

Documents

History of Tablet Computers

  • A Brief History of Tablet Computers

    By Ryan J. Vetter, MA

    August 1, 2009

    1 Vetter, Ryan J., 2009

  • Vetter, Ryan J., 2009

    Tablet Computers: A Definition

    A tablet computer is a device with a touchscreen that allows for either pen input and/or touch/multi-touch gestures. The width and length is about that of a piece of A4 paper. Two varieties exist: 1. Hybrid Tablets (with keyboard) and Slate Tablets (sans keyboard)

    2 Vetter, Ryan J., 2009

  • Vetter, Ryan J., 2009

    Tablet Computers: Beginnings

    We can think of a tablet as being a slate that can record information, traditionally through input via a stylus, or, in ancient times, through inscriptions from sharp writing objects (primitive pens/styli).

    3

  • Vetter, Ryan J., 2009

    Ancient Tablets: 32,000+ Years Ago

    As reported in the BBC News in 2003, one of the oldest tablets was discovered in Mexico. Notable is the carving of the man on the Mammoth tusk: it is in the shape of the

    constellation Orion.4

  • Vetter, Ryan J., 2009

    A Rock Slate Tablet

    Mesopotamian Sumerian Medical Tablet, circa 2400 BC: reproduction.

    5

  • Vetter, Ryan J., 2009

    1888: Telautograph

    6

  • Vetter, Ryan J., 2009

    1888: Telautograph

    What is interpreted as the first tablet computer, the Telautograph is patented by Elisha Gray. In an interview in 1888, published in The Manufacturer & Builder (Vol. 20: No. 4: pages 85-86), Gray discussed his invention as follows:

    7

  • Vetter, Ryan J., 2009

    By my invention you can sit down in your office in Chicago, take a pencil in your hand, write a message to me, and as your pencil moves, a pencil here in my laboratory moves simultaneously, and

    forms the same letters and words in the same way. What you write in Chicago is instantly reproduced here in fac-simile. You may write in any language, use a code or cipher, no matter, a fac-simile is produced here. If you want to draw a picture it is the same, the picture is reproduced here. The artist of your

    newspaper can, by this device, telegraph his pictures of a railway wreck or other occurrences just as a reporter telegraphs his

    description in words.

    1888: Telautograph

    8

  • Vetter, Ryan J., 2009

    The Telautograph transmits electrical impulses (pen input) recorded by a potentiometer to the receiving station

    where a pen attached to a stepping motor reproduces the original input on a stationary sheet of paper. It became

    particularly popular transmitting signatures in the banking industry, and in the the health care industry in large

    hospitals for the timely delivery of doctors orders and patient information.

    1888: Telautograph

    9

  • Vetter, Ryan J., 2009

    1957: Styalator

    1957: More like todays tablets, the Styalator was the first digitizer tablet with a stylus used for handwriting

    recognition, paired with a computer.

    10

  • Vetter, Ryan J., 2009

    1964: Rand Tablet

    1964: The RAND Tablet, or Grafacon, is introduced, which functioned in much the same way as the Styalator as well as

    the Apple Graphics Tablet; through a magnetic signal, the Grafacon localized a stylus on the x, y and z axis, with its

    input being reproduced on a computer.

    11

  • Vetter, Ryan J., 2009

    1964: Rand Tablet

    12

  • Vetter, Ryan J., 2009

    1968: Dynabook

    1968: Dynabook... conceived of, by Alan Kay (Xerox Researcher). Kay released a now famous paper titled A Personal Computer for Children of All Ages in 1972 detailing

    the Dynabook as a fantasy device.

    13

  • Vetter, Ryan J., 2009

    1968: DynabookThe Dynabook, as a concept device, was to be a tablet computer aimed at children. The way Kay described it

    implied that, not only would the software and hardware have to be tightly conjoined, but it would require many of the online services we take for granted today. At any rate, Kay was touting a device, ideally, with no moving parts and

    haptic feedback - a touch screen.

    !

    The Dynabook never made it to market, however.

    14

  • Vetter, Ryan J., 2009

    1979: Apple Graphics Tablet

    This was a digitizer pad with a wired stylus. It was offered as a companion for the Apple II.

    15

  • Vetter, Ryan J., 2009

    1979: Apple Graphics Tablet

    16

  • Vetter, Ryan J., 2009

    1979: Apple Graphics Tablet

    As illustrated in a 1981 Apple Spring Catalogue, The Apple Graphics Tablet turns your Apple II system into an artists canvas. The tablet offers an exciting medium with easy-to-use tools and techniques for creating and displaying pictorial information. This OEM tablet, developed by Summagraphics, uses magnetostriction: it has built in alloy wires that localizes the stylus on x, y, and z axis points.

    17

  • Vetter, Ryan J., 2009

    1982: Pencept PenPad 200

    The Pencept PenPad 200 used a digitizer pad with stylus, along with a monitor. The sole input method was handwriting recognition, which, based on its gesture recognition algorithm, required little user training.

    18

  • Vetter, Ryan J., 2009

    1982: Pencept PenPad 200

    19

  • Vetter, Ryan J., 2009

    1989: GridPad Pen Computer

    Developed by Jeff Hawkins, founder of Palm Computing. Hawkings notes that he got his idea for the Palm Pilot from

    the GridPad Pen Computer.20

  • Vetter, Ryan J., 2009

    1989: GridPad Pen Computer

    Manufactured by Samsung.

    Specs: 5 lbs and 11.5" x 9.3" x 1.48".

    20MHz processor.

    20MB RAM and 40, 60, 80 or 120MB hard drive.

    10" diagonal backlit VGA display with 32 gray scales.

    Built in PCMCIA card slot, an internal fax/modem

    card, a floppy drive port and a standard keyboard port.

    3 hours on NiCad battery pack.21

  • Vetter, Ryan J., 2009

    1989

    What is to be the Russian company Paragraph Software, they license their write recognition software to Apple for the Original Newton MessagePad, which launches in 1993. It was an improvement on what the Newton team was working with at the time.

    22

  • Vetter, Ryan J., 2009

    1990

    The software recognizes both print and handwritten text using a combination of factors by analyzing: stroke formation, spacing between characters, speed of writing, among others. Built into the Original MessagePad, the recognition was poor, which adversely affected the performance, sales, and reputation of the Apple Newton.

    23

  • Vetter, Ryan J., 2009

    1991: Momenta Pentop

    24

  • Vetter, Ryan J., 2009

    1991: Momenta Pentop 386 based.

    Weight: 7 lbs.

    Supports gestures and handwriting

    recognition.

    Software: MS DOS and Windows.

    Detachable screen to use as notepad in

    meetings, etc.

    Backlit model price: $5495 USD.25

  • Vetter, Ryan J., 2009

    1992: Windows for Pen Computing

    Windows responds to the PenPoint OS by releasing Windows for Pen Computing: it was a series of add ons for MS Windows enabling pen input.

    26

  • Vetter, Ryan J., 2009

    1993: IBM ThinkPad 750p/360p

    Convertible Notebook that allowed for pen input.

    33 MHz i486SL.

    27

  • Vetter, Ryan J., 2009

    1995

    1995: Rosetta, developed at Apple (Lead Software Engineer Larry Yaeger). It is an improved print recognition technology, included in Newton OS 2.x and OS X (compatible with stylus based tablets/writing pads i.e. Wacom).

    28

  • Vetter, Ryan J., 2009

    1999: Aqcess Qbe Original Tablet PC

    29

  • Vetter, Ryan J., 2009

    1999: Aqcess Qbe Original Tablet PC

    Celeron 400 MHz.

    96 MB SDRAM.

    Windows 98 Second Edition.

    13.3 TFT Active Matrix color display (800

    x 600).

    Pen input.

    30

  • Vetter, Ryan J., 2009

    2001: Windows XP Tablet PC Edition

    Windows XP Tablet PC Edition is released.

    31

  • Vetter, Ryan J., 2009

    2003: Fingerworks

    Fingerworks develops touchscreen technologies later found in the iPhone.

    32

  • Vetter, Ryan J., 2009

    Most of this Latter Decade

    Various convertible tablet PCs come to market.

    33

  • Vetter, Ryan J., 2009

    Most of this Latter Decade

    Modern tablets for artists. These tablets require a computer for tethering. Artists can sketch, for instance, in Adobe Photoshop, directly on screen with a stylus.

    34

  • Vetter, Ryan J., 2009

    All of the images included in this presentation are copyright their respective holders: they are used under fair usage guidelines (for educational purposes). The rest of the material is Copyright Ryan J. Vetter, 2009.

    35