Annotated Bibliography in On-line Character Recognition,
Pen Computing, Gesture User Interfaces
and Tablet and Touch Computers
This is a posting of a bibliography on gesture user interfaces, on-line character recognition (a.k.a. dynamic character recognition, a.k.a. pen computing), and related topics, including both hardware and software. It has been a continuing work-in-progress since 1987. I am posting it as a service to those with interest in the field. It may also be of special interest to anyone investigating any the areas of digitizer tablets, touchscreens, character recognition, tablet-PC GUIs, and multi-touch computing (such as the iPhone and Touch iPod), capacitive touch and proximity sensors, and context-dependent intrepretation of user input. It covers the time period from approximately 1891 (first electronic tablet) through 1914 (first handwriting-recognition/gesture input system) to the present day.
- This compilation is copyright © Jean Renard Ward, 1992, 1996, 2003, 2005, 2008, 2009, 2011, 2013, 2015, 2017.
- Permission is hereby given to link to this list, or to cite it
provided that notice of the source is given as stated below, that the full URL of this page is included,
and also that you use my correct full name "Jean Renard Ward" is included with any such reference or link.
Permission is hereby given to reproduce any diagrams or photographs in this collection for any purpose (to the extent that the materials are not subject to copyright by persons other than myself), including for the purposes of confidential reports, provided that accompanying text clearly makes reference to the URL for this page, along with the statement:
"Source: Annotated Bibliography in Touch/Pen Computing and Handwriting Recognition by Jean Renard Ward".
(For additional information on Rueters-Ward Services,
including a CV for Jean Renard Ward for consulting including as an expert witness:
The bibliography is broken up into multiple sections by date of publication, for convenience in printing:
When was Pen Computing invented?
Check this out:
In 1992, back in the early days (well, much earlier than now) of pen and touchscreen computing,
I gave a presentation at the Boston Computer Society
entitled Notes on the "unknown" history of Pen Computing.
Dan Bricklin has posted a video of the presentation on youtube.com:
Note: I find the very early references to technology interesting. For example,
- Handwriting recognition by a machine in real time, with a user writing with a stylus, goes back to before World War I:
- Optical character recognition (from a printed page) goes back to before the days of computers:
- Electronic Tablets were invented in the 19th century:
- United States Patent 461,472, October 20, 1891
- United States Patent 491,347, February 7, 1893
(Note: Elisha Grey is best known in history as the person who may have invented the telephone before Alexander Graham Bell, but lost the patent dispute in a famous and controversial court decision)
- "Electronic ink" (the pen-computing kind, not the electronic display) is older than you think:
- "The RAND Tablet: A Man-Machine Graphical Communication Device", 1964
(Note: This is the earliest published use of this term in pen-computing, AFAIK).
- Language knowledge being used in character recognition:
- The early references to the "Viterbi" algorithm are interesting to compare with more recent inventions on glyphs and context.
- Some blog postings:
- So you think your recognition software is pretty good? ... look at this.
- Another interesting slant is the many claims of "near perfect" handwriting recognition algorithms in
the earliest days of pen computing, such as
(Note: At one of my pen-computing jobs in the late 1980s,
we joked that Dimond had achieved 97%
"perfect" handwriting recognition in 1957,
and that the technology had been getting about 5% better every decade since:
the trend seems to have continued unbroken, like some odd form of Moore's Law.)
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