InkWell and Trackpads

Discussion in 'MacRumors News Discussion (archive)' started by arn, Jun 14, 2002.

  1. arn
    macrumors god

    arn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2001
    #1
    Many users have noted a MacOSRumors 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.
     
  2. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2002
    Location:
    Cirencester, UK
    #2
    iPad

    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!
     
  3. macrumors 6502a

    drastik

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2002
    Location:
    Nashvegas
    #3
    wireless pen

    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.
     
  4. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2002
    #4
    happiness is a warm stylus

    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
     
  5. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2002
    #5
    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.
     
  6. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2002
    Location:
    all over
    #6
    inkwell

    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......
     
  7. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2002
    Location:
    Winter Park, FL
    #7
    iTablet

    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
     
  8. macrumors 68000

    dongmin

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2002
    #8
    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.
     
  9. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2002
    #9
    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...
     
  10. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 4, 2002
    #10
    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.
     
  11. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2001
    #11
    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....
     
  12. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2002
    #12
    i like this idea..

    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
     
  13. macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 8, 2002
    #13
    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.
     
  14. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2002
    Location:
    Salt Lake City, UT
    #14
    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.
     
  15. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2002
    #15
    i like this idea..

    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
     
  16. macrumors 6502a

    BobVB

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2002
    #16
    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.
     
  17. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2001
    #17
    One thing to remember

    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...
     
  18. macrumors 68000

    tjwett

    Joined:
    May 6, 2002
    Location:
    Brooklyn, NYC
    #18
    Trackpad...

    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...
     
  19. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2001
    #19
    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.
     
  20. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2002
    #20
    Everyone is missing the real possibility here

    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!
     
  21. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 30, 2002
    Location:
    Omaha
    #21
    Re: Everyone is missing the real possibility here


    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
     
  22. macrumors 6502

    maclamb

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2002
    Location:
    Northern California
    #22
    Trackpad sensitivity and newton Recognition

    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.
     
  23. macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 6, 2002
    Location:
    Little Rock, AR
    #23
    LAME application of "Inkwell"

    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.
     
  24. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2001
    Location:
    San Luis Obispo, CA
    #24
    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.
     
  25. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2002
    #25
    Re: wireless pen

    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 ...
     

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