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arn
Jun 14, 2002, 09:15 AM
Many users have noted a MacOSRumors (http://www.macosrumors.com/) blurb about the possible use of InkWell:

When you ponder the purpose of Apple's forthcoming InkWell handwriting-recognition technology, think about the way the trackpad works on PowerBooks and iBooks. Imagine if you could add an inexpensive stylus pen, and enter text much the same way it is done on the trackpad-like area of a Palm handheld or similar device

The problem with this speculation is that current iBook/PowerBook trackpads don't register the movements of a Pen/Stylus... so while, this is certainly a possibility, would only work on updated hardware. This appears to be simply speculation.

Blackcat
Jun 14, 2002, 09:50 AM
Maybe the next digital hub device isn't a PDA, it's a pen input device (possibly wireless).

Can't see the point myself... but it might sell a few more Mouseki's so I'm not complaining!

drastik
Jun 14, 2002, 10:06 AM
I don't know, a Pen device seems kind of useless.

Any real graphics pro would use a tablet instead, and I can't imagine the public (most iApp users) would need pen imput.

Inkwell has to mean something though, and a new iDevice makes since, we're due. A tablet doesn't seem out of the question, but still seems far away. A couple of PC makers are pushing Tablets into production, so may the market will open up.

I've never gotten to play witha newton, so I don't know, but I've heard they were nice. Now, with the proliferation of cooler chips and slimline drives, a powertablet seems technically feasible.

I'd like to see one. Anyone out there feel like trying to make one? Course, you'd have to wrech up a good PB at least, but itmight be cool.

clevergirl
Jun 14, 2002, 10:10 AM
I think the trackpad responds bodyheat. Then all you'd need is a special stylus...one with a warm tip.

So what is the resolution of the trackpad compared with a palm's stylus pad?

alm

jettavrsix
Jun 14, 2002, 10:17 AM
This has to be the stupidest rumor I've heard yet. Who in their right mind would want to scribble symbols and letters onto a 2"x2" track pad with a stylus, when a full size keyboard is another 1/2" away??

This is one of the primary reasons why PDA sales have stagnated. Now that everybody has realized that the user interface is so lame (outside of the full-on screen based handwriting recognition of the Newton) they have no time to look cool as they struggle to "jot" down notes and addresses. Most people who use PDAs, use them as a satellite device to their existing PC or Mac and download info from Calendars and address books. They can't be bothered to readily input data into the lame-azz "trackpad-like" stylus pad.

How many people do you know with Palms, Handsprings and Windows CE devcies that sit unused in their desk drawers?

If Apple were developing a flatscreen technology that would allow me to draw and write directly on the screen (similar to the Cintiq but crisper and integrated with the OS) then I'd be excited.

A trackpad that supports limited handwriting recognition is a complete waste of time IMHO.

grabaslab
Jun 14, 2002, 10:25 AM
Hmmmmm.........
Let's see........
Could it be........
Just maybe..........

*** Touch/Pen Screen LCD Displays *** on laptops & Desktops?

This would be in keeping with Apple's "we are unique" designs & strategy, and actually give an added value to their (somewhat) overpriced displays, encouraging users (like me) who like the CPUs, but get the same or better display performance at a better price from other manufacturers......

billiam0878
Jun 14, 2002, 10:34 AM
I really see an iTablet running a full version of OS X (with InkWell) with an iPod sized HD (5-10GB) and a low power G3-G4.

Bill

dongmin
Jun 14, 2002, 10:34 AM
this doesn't even fall under the rumors category. It's merely MOSR, desperate for any kind of content, making up some "readers'" speculation on inkwell.

And a dumb speculation at that. The whole point of handwriting-recognition technology is to offer a way of entering text without needing a keyboard.

So inkwell would be useful for a PDA (which Jobs has said he's not interested in), a tablet device (essentially a PDA with a larger screen), or a touch-sensitive screen for a keyboard-less kisosk-like applications.

theaz
Jun 14, 2002, 11:03 AM
hmm...

I saw this rumor many many moons ago (1-2 years), and i strongly believe that it was on MOSR back then. Some things never change. MacOSRumors needs something new and something that can be backed up with credible evidence, rather than stories from their omnipresent credible sources (sarcasm intended). They really do seem to be going down hill...

Inhale420
Jun 14, 2002, 12:03 PM
the only idea i can think of that's useful, is for signature recognition for logging in or openining sensitive docs.

otherwise it a completely stupid gimmick.

MasterX (OSiX)
Jun 14, 2002, 12:20 PM
It DOES have a use, as a way to sketch (try to draw with a trackpad), but I don't see how InkWell could figure in. I don't forsee a toutchpad screen, on a laptop at least. Well maybe on a PowerBook SE for mobile artists. But InkWell is for Wacoms so does that mean we will be seeing REAL Wacom drivers soon? I hate daemons since the Norton and Palm ones killed my performance. Now I avoid them at all costs and patiently wait for apple to make something to help. Heck, to HotSync i manually open PalmDesktop Support and Conduit Manager, but Palm's daemon will kill 50% of your CPU every 2 seconds so i think it's worth it. I don't know if Wacom uses a daemon but i know iTunes does, but i can't figure what it does (opens iTunes when you click burn music cd??). Anyway InkWell. Yeah it sounds like a good idea, and I suppose porting it to MacOS X was minimum effort, so it might not be anything. But i stll argue my 2 points: 1) OSX 10.2 has something HUGE apple hasn't mentioned yet. 2) Apple has something new in the works, but I wounder if it's for a portable or set-top/desktop use.

Time will tell....

boobers
Jun 14, 2002, 12:27 PM
because your lil monitor doesn't get crap and grease all over it..lcd monitors are sensitive things..you could easily puncture it with your stylus if you got pissed at it(especially a win version ;p)..also it seems quite feasible since the trackpad is quite nice...for a trackpad..my problem with this whole thing is i don't like to write..i prefer to type. I was thinking it might be possible to launch an onscreen keyboard..similar to where the dock is located..sort of a show hide thing..using the stylus to touch the keys..its slow but so its writing!
boobers

syntax
Jun 14, 2002, 12:28 PM
Originally posted by theaz
hmm...

I saw this rumor many many moons ago (1-2 years), and i strongly believe that it was on MOSR back then. Some things never change. MacOSRumors needs something new and something that can be backed up with credible evidence, rather than stories from their omnipresent credible sources (sarcasm intended). They really do seem to be going down hill...

Does anyone even read MOSR for anything other than entertainment value anymore? Their infrequent updates now consist almost entirely of yesterday's thinly disguised press releases, really REALLY poorly repurposed reader feedback masquerading as "insider speculation," and naked pleas for new hardware. Back during the late '90s they seemed to be on an upward swing, but the site is essentially lame-ass dead. Even far better sites (Mac the Knife, AppleInsider, Apple Recon) are dead, radically altered or comatose.

benjaminpg
Jun 14, 2002, 12:34 PM
Recently Sony introduced an LCD screen with a stylus the main idea, being that it would be useful for graphics. However, the idea was not accepted and the product soon flopped. In fact I don't think it is still made. I suppose part of the problem was the price, it seemed high, but I can't remember it. But I agree there has to be some use of Inkwell beyond a simple tablet.

boobers
Jun 14, 2002, 12:38 PM
because your lil monitor doesn't get crap and grease all over it..lcd monitors are sensitive things..you could easily puncture it with your stylus if you got pissed at it(especially a win version ;p)..also it seems quite feasible since the trackpad is quite nice...for a trackpad..my problem with this whole thing is i don't like to write..i prefer to type. I was thinking it might be possible to launch an onscreen keyboard..similar to where the dock is located..sort of a show hide thing..using the stylus to touch the keys..its slow but so its writing!
boobers

BobVB
Jun 14, 2002, 12:41 PM
Originally posted by syntax


Does anyone even read MOSR for anything other than entertainment value anymore? Their infrequent updates now consist almost entirely of yesterday's thinly disguised press releases, really REALLY poorly repurposed reader feedback masquerading as "insider speculation," and naked pleas for new hardware. Back during the late '90s they seemed to be on an upward swing, but the site is essentially lame-ass dead. Even far better sites (Mac the Knife, AppleInsider, Apple Recon) are dead, radically altered or comatose.

My guess is that their 'insider' sources have been caught and executed or the corporate equivalent there of. Very few reliable rumors actually appear anymore other than in the one or two day time frame it takes to get ads etc printed. I rarely even look at MacOSrumors anymore - here the rumors are often not rumors at all but the discussion is always interesting regardless.

MasterX (OSiX)
Jun 14, 2002, 12:42 PM
Is that Apple isn't stupid. Almost every one of their (Steve and Co.) products has been a success: G3 B/W, G4, Quicksilver, iBook, PowerBook G4, eMac, iMac, iMac G4, iMovie, iTunes, iDVD, iPhoto, FInal Cut Pro, Cinema Tools, DVD Studio Pro, and even the G4 Cube. Yes I beleive the G4 cube is FAR more important that people realize, It's technology MUST be in both the best laptop ever (TiBook) and the best 1U rack server ever (Xserve). So unless you hold some weird grudge against iCards I don't think Apple has botched anything recently.

OH YEAH THE CINEMA DISPLAY!!! Cant forget that one...

tjwett
Jun 14, 2002, 12:45 PM
Actually I think the track pad responds to electricity or something. It obviously works with your finger, right? Now try with a pen...nothing. Now plug in a pair of headphones and touch any part of the wire to the trackpad. It works! Even the wire from a plugged in USB device works. So it seems to be sensitive to electric current. I could be totally wrong though. I don't know where I'm going with this...Oh yeah, I guess if this is the case and Apple wanted to use the trackpad with a pen:

A. It would have to be powered, either by USB, or maybe even a small battery?

B: It would probably be pretty lame because the trackpad only has 2 levels of sensitivity; ON and OFF. Whereas good tablets have over 1000.

Anyway...

maiku
Jun 14, 2002, 12:45 PM
I think you missed the point. Re-read the MacOSRumors Post.

"think about the way the trackpad works on PowerBooks and iBooks. Imagine if you could add an inexpensive stylus pen, and enter text much the same way it is done on the trackpad-like area of a Palm handheld or similar device."

They don't say "This will be for Powerbook and ibook track pads."
They don't even say ""This will be for future Powerbook and ibook track pads."

They are basically saying it will work LIKE your finger and a trackpad.
Kinda like ummm, let's see... a Wacom.

Please read before you put stuff on your front page, because MacOSRumors
didn't imply this technology would be for Powerbooks and iBooks,
it seems to imply it will be for an inexpensive pen and tablet that Apple may introduce at MWNY. This would make sense, Inkwell must be for something besides Wacom owners....

I think this technology would be great and might be a replacement for the hundreds of stickies that litter my desk. How many of you use a pen to jot down notes during the course of your day? Well, now you have a digital copy.

JoeCanadian
Jun 14, 2002, 01:38 PM
Forget about Trackpads! The new use for InkWell is a new Bluetooth enabled pen!

You can use the pen to write on any surface, and the movement is transmitted to the Bluetooth enabled Mac, and into InkWell. This would allow you to trace a graphic, or markup a printout of an existing graphic.

This would be an innovation worthy of the Apple name!

GabrielX
Jun 14, 2002, 02:07 PM
Originally posted by JoeCanadian
Forget about Trackpads! The new use for InkWell is a new Bluetooth enabled pen!

You can use the pen to write on any surface, and the movement is transmitted to the Bluetooth enabled Mac, and into InkWell. This would allow you to trace a graphic, or markup a printout of an existing graphic.

This would be an innovation worthy of the Apple name!


I've asked this before, and I may have gotten an answer, but if so, I'm too forgetful to remember it.

Why do you need InkWell with this scenario? AFAIK, InkWell is the handwriting recognition processing software. Am I incorrect in this?

If I'm right, then a bluetooth enabled pen, the way you have described it, would be just like any other sort of drawing input device, and not require Inkwell.

While I'm not saying you don't have a good idea, I'm don't know that there is enough need for handwriting recognition software on a desktop computer just to sell a Bluetooth enabled pen.

What Inkwell will be used for, if my assumption on its use is right, I don't know. But I can guess it won't be for graphic design purposes.

Gabriel

maclamb
Jun 14, 2002, 02:24 PM
IMHO the trackpad responds to Galvanic Skin Response - used to measure slight current potentials (aka Palmar Sweating).

As for handwriting recognition - I liked the fact the newton could save handwriting as "digital ink" which one could scribble w/o having it "recognised" and then - later - select the text and ask it to be recognized..

perhaps something like that.

AudiA4
Jun 14, 2002, 03:16 PM
There is NO way that Apple would have revamped the renowned Newton 2.0 HWR for this low-tech implementation.

Painted-out, touch sensitive input areas are last century technology for cryptic one-letter-at-a-time input methods like Palm's graffiti.

The Newton 2.0 HWR technology (Inkwell) is an advanced, full word, cursive input handwriting recognition technology that exceeds anything on the market today (including Transcriber on PocketPC). It was not made for "blind" input on a trackpad - particularly one that is 2" square. It was developed for writing on a screen and it worked flawlessly on the Newton 2.0 devices. How would you even write a whole word on a little trackpad area!

This whole thing points toward a touch-sensitive screen device - be it a new PDA or Tablet device. I still maintain that Apple is much to innovative and savvy to make the investment of Inkwell for the FEW people who MIGHT have a Wacom tablet. This is undeniable a "ruse" to disguise its future implementation on a new digital hub device.

ThlayliTheFierce
Jun 14, 2002, 03:30 PM
Ok, trackpads work by sensing the electrostatic energy in your finger, they will respond to anything that emits this. All you'd need is a stylus with a battery.

robodweeb
Jun 14, 2002, 04:11 PM
Originally posted by drastik
I don't know, a Pen device seems kind of useless.

Any real graphics pro would use a tablet instead, and I can't imagine the public (most iApp users) would need pen imput.

Who *needs* an iPod? Seriously, I noticed several years ago that, in the many meetings I attended, people with PDAs and laptops generally had a pad of paper around on which they took notes. Popping up a screen, in the middle of a meeting and except for those making presentations or transcribing the meeting, was a signal that you weren't paying attention. Also, it showed everyone behind you what you were doing. It's just not as pragmatically useful as it might seem. So, folks took notes, then later transcribed them.

While that has some benefits (eg forcing you to re-think things from the meeting), I think an Anoto-style (www.anoto.com) peripheral pen/stylus would be a popular addition to Apple's capabilities. I like the Anoto concept, because you write normally and it's wirelessly copied through your computer ... you automatically generate a hardcopy and a digital record.

The downside to Anoto is that it requires a special type of paper to write on. Apple probably has the resources to come up with a more generic solution.

Actually, I wouldn't mind such a pen/stylus having a small scanner in it ... think electronic highlighting tool that captures the important text for you.

I'm a bit leery of the notion of using iBook/Powerbook trackpads to write upon ... it's an awfully small workspace and I tend to write big (plus it breaks the intent of trying to adapt the technology to user's natural ways of doing things). However, if it's something that could be added on for $19.95 or something like that, it might work out OK ...

robodweeb
Jun 14, 2002, 04:24 PM
Originally posted by jettavrsix
If Apple were developing a flatscreen technology that would allow me to draw and write directly on the screen (similar to the Cintiq but crisper and integrated with the OS) then I'd be excited.

It seems to me that this should not be too difficult. For example, there have long been many "pens" for CRT displays ... it has an optical sensor that syncs up with the sweep of of the electron gun across the CRT, so that the computer knows where the user is pointing the pen.

Now, obviously, this wouldn't directly transfer to LCD displays, but there should be some analogous way for a pen to detect which LCD pixels it's being held over. Perhaps an identifying signal overlaying the line signal to each of the three color LCD elements that comprise a pixel? If such a signal had a frequency of more than 100 Hz, there would be no noticeable (to the human eye) flicker and the pen could certainly sample at 1kHz or more (the higher the frequency, the finer the time resolution and, hence, the spatial resolution.

Then, perhaps all you'd need to retrofit older displays is a more wear & tear resistant polymer coating (that doesn't degrade the clarity of the display).

Of course, since it hasn't been done yet, as far as I'm aware, there's probably a technical hitch I haven't thought of ...

robodweeb
Jun 14, 2002, 04:28 PM
Originally posted by JoeCanadian
The new use for InkWell is a new Bluetooth enabled pen!

www.anoto.com

tpavell
Jun 14, 2002, 04:29 PM
http://maccentral.macworld.com/news/0206/14.browser.php

He says in reference to browsers on portable devices...

..."There are going to have to be new metaphors invented, new clients, new user interface models, but they've got to be suited to the device.

This is what (Apple Computer Inc. chief executive officer) Steve Jobs understands that a lot of people have trouble with: Form factor really counts. What shape it is, how far away from it you are when you use it, how big the screen is, whether it has a keyboard, whether it uses a stylus, those things determine how it gets used more than anything else, and you can't force the wrong metaphor on people. "

pimentoLoaf
Jun 14, 2002, 05:21 PM
The trackpad works with body capacitance, I believe, so it would be a simple thing to devise a stylus whose tip is connected to a metallic band partway along the stylus' shaft...

But, yeah: why use it when there's a keyboard immediately adjacent?

A Cintiq-like next-generation iMac is one possibility, unless...

Newton II, perhaps?

Santiago
Jun 14, 2002, 08:01 PM
Trackpads work based on your finger's ability to disrupt the electrical field on their surface. This field is designed to be sensitive to items with the electroconductivity of a human finger, which is essentially water. Other similar objects work fine. Try using a (closed) soy sauce or ketchup packet and watch the pointer move as you drag the packet over the trackpad.

Cappy
Jun 14, 2002, 10:33 PM
I don't think we're going to see the trackpad idea brought to the public from Apple but I'm sure some bored teenager in college will have such a hack at the next Machack. I do have to admit though someone might find it useful so it may not qualify. ;)

At any rate lets dream a little.

Take a new wireless card that does 802.11b and bluetooth, throw it into a powerbook or ibook. Now take a fairly lightweight, thin pressure sensitive pad that accepts input from a stylus with it's own cpu and subsystem with bluetooth and maybe even a hitachi harddrive if there's room and enough power. Now make that pad the same size as the powerbook or ibook case. Last design it in such a way that it mounts to the bottom of the ibook or powerbook(yeah we're talking two different sizes or models now) much the same way some of the PC laptops have a sort of mobile docking system that contains the cdrom, etc. Actually bluetooth isn't really needed as a 6 ft firewire cable might suffice when communication is needed. Heck even the harddrive may not be needed if it's transmitting constantly to the laptop.

Now consider the markets for this. Schools now have an electronic pad that connects to ibooks for artwork and even practicing handwriting with the proper software.

Think of the non-student side as well as businesses. Presentations can be given and projected with any writing on the presentation acting as an overlay. There's always the quick sketch that could be useful. Portable handwriting recognition...probably developed by a 3rd party.

Consider the uses and markets. This would fit in with the Mac as a digital hub and provide something that I'm not aware of anyone doing yet. Of course, maybe it's not possible yet. I'll readily admit I don't know how advanced pressure sensitive tablets can be made that are capable enough for this yet durable, lightweight, and not too expensive.

This could also open up new markets for 3rd parties to provide various sizes of pads for presentation stations. Maybe some that are more heavy duty for those rougher work environments?

Ok dreams over...time to wake up. ;) There's at least a hundred reasons why this cannot happen I'm sure and quite frankly this is probably some design that got Steved long ago but hey? It's something that sounds alot more feasible that being able to write on the tiny trackpad on a laptop and letting inkwell try to figure the three letter words that were written on it.

Parent asks young daughter: Why is your ibook trackpad red and blue?

daughter says: I was writing a note to my friend in class and my blue pen ran out of ink so I used a red one.

theaz
Jun 15, 2002, 12:30 AM
Originally posted by maiku
I think you missed the point. Re-read the MacOSRumors Post.

"think about the way the trackpad works on PowerBooks and iBooks. Imagine if you could add an inexpensive stylus pen, and enter text much the same way it is done on the trackpad-like area of a Palm handheld or similar device."

...

Please read before you put stuff on your front page, because MacOSRumors
didn't imply this technology would be for Powerbooks and iBooks,
it seems to imply it will be for an inexpensive pen and tablet that Apple may introduce at MWNY. This would make sense, Inkwell must be for something besides Wacom owners....

...




Umm, before you attack the posts of others, I suggest that you ensure that your own stands the test...

Original quote from MOSR:

"think about the way the trackpad works on PowerBooks and iBooks. Imagine if you could add an inexpensive stylus pen, and enter text much the same way it is done on the trackpad-like area of a Palm handheld or similar device."

The quotation in itself can be regarded as somewhat ambiguous in that the second sentence does not stand entirely on its own (it requires a degree of interpretation [perhaps intended py the writer] that will result in different people reaching different conclusions). However, the intention of the writer seems quite clear, after a little light analysis.

Sentence 1: The subject of the paragraph is immediately drawn to trackpads. Not just any trackpads, but specifically to the trackpads of PowerBooks and iBooks.

Sentence 2: The text in the first clause (ie prior to the comma) states: "Imagine if you could add an inexpensive stylus pen". What are we adding it to? The writer did not say. However, since the first sentence explicitely relates to PowerBooks and iBooks, it seems logical that this sentence also refers to the same subject. Assuming the devils advocate, you may claim that it is the ambiguity of MOSRs initial rumour that clouds the issue. maiku, if this is the line that you are taking: a hint: never criticise another based on an ambiguious argument (ie one that you do not fully understand yourself).

In the off chance that the article was poorly (or ironically 'really well' written), maybe the writer was refering to 'something else.' This is easily tested.

We are only adding "an inexpensive stylus": not a trackpad. If you believe that we are adding a trackpad, the article certainly does not say this, and so you are concluding this yourself through a process of fabrication: maiku, fabrication is not a reason to criticise others, which your post clearly does.

A final possibility: maybe Apple is releasing a 'new product' that has a trackpad in it. As far as I am aware, the information on this issue is simply based on speculation. I am a speculative rumormonger like the rest of us at the best of times, but maiku, if you are basing your criticisms of others based on speculation alone, then you really should reconsider your position. Of course, if you do know something that we don't, why don't you tell us.

Cappy
Jun 15, 2002, 12:59 AM
theaz: What are you? a lawyer? sheesh!

Mental note...don't argue with theaz. ;)

audiopainter
Jun 15, 2002, 01:01 AM
Call me crazy but is that Windows that has been photoshoped onto a PowerBook G4's screen at the Anoto web-site? It sure doesn't look like VPC.

check it out: http://www.anotofunctionality.com/navigate.asp?PageID=66

:eek:

Cappy
Jun 15, 2002, 01:19 AM
Originally posted by audiopainter
Call me crazy but is that Windows that has been photoshoped onto a PowerBook G4's screen at the Anoto web-site? It sure doesn't look like VPC.

check it out: http://www.anotofunctionality.com/navigate.asp?PageID=66

:eek:

I would say it's a PC laptop but it's pretty tough to see.

audiopainter
Jun 15, 2002, 01:28 AM
Look at the slot-loading drive, only the PowerBook has it. Granted the image has been flipped horizontal but you can still see the graphite keyboard and latch-release button. Definately a TiBook!

AudiA4
Jun 15, 2002, 09:12 AM
Okay, let me say this once (again):

Inkwell (Newton HWR 2.0) was designed for WRITING on a SCREEN!!! Imagine with me if you will (as obviously none of you have ever had any exposure to the elegance of this input method) - writing on the screen with a stylus - either to draw or write - print or cursive. "Gee AudiA4, that would almost be as natural as writing on a notepad!" No kidding.

Proposing that Inkwell be implemented for use on a painted out trackpad is...well, both ludicrous and low tech. Suggesting (Cappy) that Apple attach a full-size pad to a notebook is even more ludicrous (why not USE THE SCREEN)! Wacom tablets (and their variants) are just holdover technology fromt the time when writing on a full-color LCD screen was not possible (and I'm aware that there are still some advantages to separate tablets - but not for writing).

C'mon guys! The ONLY reason Apple makes the Wacom tablet disclaimer is just a temporary "excuse" until they release a new digital device. I would offer that this would either be a PDA or a tablet (a "notebook" computer without the keyboard).

Cappy
Jun 15, 2002, 09:56 AM
Originally posted by AudiA4
C'mon guys! The ONLY reason Apple makes the Wacom tablet disclaimer is just a temporary "excuse" until they release a new digital device. I would offer that this would either be a PDA or a tablet (a "notebook" computer without the keyboard).

Just remember that it's not Apple's style these days to jump into a market dominated by other companies unless they feel their products are not doing things right. They've pretty strongly stated that it might be suicide to enter the pda race. My bets would be on something more like a tablet style device with some pda capabilities where they could probably have a higher price and not be perceived to be competing with Palm, PocketPC, and now even Sharp.

Maybe we would see the beginning of a whole new Apple-MS war as MS will be releasing their WinXP code for this technology later this year. Both would likely hit the ground running. Whatever Apple markets, I would just hope that it connects to both Macs and Windows systems.

I also wouldn't be so quick to rule out other products that use seperate pads even for writing. There are cost issues that come into play depending on the product and market. I've felt all along that adding these features might be more for 3rd party developers to create products to get Macs into niche markets than for Apple to use in their own products but I would love to be proven wrong.

Ain't rumors fun? :)

BobVB
Jun 15, 2002, 10:06 AM
Yes, OK - the idea of having an 'only' screen writable table is cool. But reality check - how dirty does your mouse pad get just from having your hand rest on it? And you're going to be having your hand resting on your screen? My iBook screen gets unwatchable just be me talking and breathing in front of it! If you aren't going to rest your hand on the screen then you are just going to become the posterboy for RSI. AND your hand will always be in the way because it will always be blocking the view of some portion of the screen.

Star Trek iPads might look cool on TV but the majority of people can type faster than they can legibly (and consistently) write, and an input device separate from the display will be more useful to the majority over one that is just a secondary function of the display itself.

Unless you are 'typing challenged' the only time handwriting input would be more advantagous is when there isn't room for a full keyboard, analog positional input is required, or you just want to 'gee whiz' impress your less geeky friends.

Inkwell is only useful to me as a Graffiti replace in a handheld - and heck I can already write 50 words a minute in that so even then it might not be an 'as functional' replacement.

AudiA4
Jun 15, 2002, 04:45 PM
Originally posted by BobVB
Star Trek iPads might look cool on TV but the majority of people can type faster than they can legibly (and consistently) write, and an input device separate from the display will be more useful to the majority over one that is just a secondary function of the display itself.

Unless you are 'typing challenged' the only time handwriting input would be more advantagous is when there isn't room for a full keyboard, analog positional input is required, or you just want to 'gee whiz' impress your less geeky friends.

Inkwell is only useful to me as a Graffiti replace in a handheld - and heck I can already write 50 words a minute in that so even then it might not be an 'as functional' replacement.

I couldn't agree more that typing on a keyboard is faster than handwriting. That's why I think it's so stupid that they would implement Inkwell on the trackpad (as this would imply there was a keyboard present). I merely suggested that Inkwell was likely reintroduced for a future KEYBOARD-LESS device. Be it a PDA or Tablet. If you have to provide ANOTHER surface for input, then you've defeated the purpose of dropping the keyboard. It's all about size and efficiency within a given pricepoint.

As far as smudges on the screen, well, my Newton worked just fine and though I don't overly respect Microsoft, there has to be some validity to the whole new Tablet PC that they are pushing. Touch-sensitive screens are made for this type of use (and maintenance).

Fifty words a minute with Graffiti? Yeah, right.

Nebrie
Jun 15, 2002, 06:21 PM
Toshiba has a new laptop that uses a new touchpad with an lcd underneath. You can write on the touchpad with a stylus, at can change to a number pad, or whatever the developers want, pretty neat.

shadowfax0
Jun 17, 2002, 08:50 AM
This is from MacOSRumors

http://www.expansys.com/product.asp?code=ERIC_CHATPEN

shadowfax0
Jun 17, 2002, 08:58 AM
This is from MacOSRumors

http://www.expansys.com/product.asp?code=ERIC_CHATPEN

robodweeb
Jun 17, 2002, 09:17 AM
Originally posted by shadowfax0
This is from MacOSRumors

http://www.expansys.com/product.asp?code=ERIC_CHATPEN

This is the same technology as Anoto (www.anoto.com) ...

arn
Jun 17, 2002, 01:46 PM
Originally posted by robodweeb


This is the same technology as Anoto (www.anoto.com) ...

First mentioned on Macrumors two years ago :)

http://www.macrumors.com/pages/2000/04/20000414085359.shtml

arn

Cappy
Jun 17, 2002, 09:17 PM
I must have missed this because I would have thought that someone here would have posted it.

http://www.wacom.com/lcdtablets/index_15x.cfm

Eliot
Jun 17, 2002, 10:05 PM
Surely a real Star Trek pad would be one you could yell at......

Wry Cooter
Jun 18, 2002, 12:40 AM
Here is an idea I haven't seen addressed yet in this thread.

Anyone remember how the first 'draw on the screen' light pens worked? You didn't need a touch sensitive screen retrofitted to a CRT or LCD, it worked by being able to tell the position of the pen point by the scan rate of the raster.

Simply make one of those sensors a bluetooth pen device.

Of course it would probably have to sample many many times per screen refresh to be able to position a hundred thousand times per second or more. Then deal with latency between the pen and the receiver. Probably not practical.

robodweeb
Jun 18, 2002, 12:59 AM
Originally posted by Wry Cooter
Here is an idea I haven't seen addressed yet in this thread.
[QUOTE]

I guess you didn't see the following, at the top of this page ...

[QUOTE]
... It seems to me that this should not be too difficult. For example, there have long been many "pens" for CRT displays ... it has an optical sensor that syncs up with the sweep of of the electron gun across the CRT, so that the computer knows where the user is pointing the pen.


The problem is that LCDs don't rasterize displays like CRTs. My thought, however, was that the brightness of the pixels could be varied in a systematic way, that would be undetectable to the human eye, so that each pixel essentially blinks its number for an optical sensor to pick up.

The sampling rate would not have to be anywhere near tens of thousands of times per second. CRTs usually rasterize at less than 100 times per second (80-100 Hz); 75 Hz or below and people can start to notice flickering. Light pens for CRTs sample on the same order of magnitude.

Latency wouldn't be a problem for LCDs. For CRTs, yoo have to tell, pretty closely, when each sweep of the electron gun begins to calculate the time until the pen's optics sense it ... the time transforms into a position on the screen.

An LCD, such as I describe above, would not depend on such timing accuracy, but would read each pixel's position directly from the pixel.

mc68k
Jun 18, 2002, 03:34 PM
Originally posted by clevergirl
I think the trackpad responds bodyheat. Then all you'd need is a special stylus...one with a warm tip.
I think it responds to your body's capacitance. That's why warm inatimate objects don't work.