Apple Serious about Gesture and Handwriting Interface?

MacRumors

macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
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With the recent revelation of Gesture user-interface patents applications from Apple, speculation about touch-interface iPods and Tablet Macs has been peaking. Apple, however, has previously filed a number of patent applications in the past related to Tablet and touch-screen technology in the past few years, but with no evidence they will ever see the light of day.

A new job description posted on February 10th, 2006, however, suggests that Apple is actively pursuing development of Gesture and Handwriting technology for Mac OS X.

Apple asks the potential applicant "Are you passionate about providing handwriting solutions to end customers? Do you strongly believe that using a stylus and a tablet is the way to interact with computers?"

Apple Handwriting Recognition team is seeking an engineer who will be responsible for advancing gesture and handwriting recognition on Mac OS X. The ideal candidate will be an expert in the area of pattern recognition, with an excellent understanding of handwriting recognition issues
Apple already provides support for handwriting recognition under Mac OS X with a technology called Inkwell, but rumors and hope of a true Mac-based Tablet have been circulating since the demise of the Apple Newton -- the first consumer PDA.
 

CoMpX

macrumors 65816
Jun 29, 2005
1,242
0
New Jersey
That would be great, I really liked that video on the multi-touch integration. It would be amazing to interact with OS X in that way.
 

supermacdesign

macrumors member
Feb 1, 2006
83
0
This is the future

As these technolgies improve and mature we will see "touch" and "gesture" technologie everywhere. I would love for apple to be the first to really embrace it. Seting the bar very high from the get go.

I have a dream that the iMac could evolve itself into the tablet mac. Imagine if you will the current iMac thinner, smaller and with the ability to simply pop off the stand and become the tablet mac, then return to the stand for charging and traditional sit down use.
 

darwen

macrumors 6502a
Apr 12, 2005
668
12
California, US
dansgil said:
I would love to have an Apple Tablet!
Ditto, ever since the rumors started about a video ipod I have wanted an apple PDA or tablet. I really think there is a market for one. Who wouldn't want a smaller laptop?
 

yankeefan24

macrumors 65816
Dec 24, 2005
1,104
0
NYC
anyways, i think a apple convertable would be better for me than a tablet. But a tablet would always be cool. April 1. April 1. April 1. We should make a widget.
 

bursty

macrumors 65816
Jan 31, 2004
1,002
5
I would buy an 12-13.3" Apple Tablet and a touchscreen video iPod tomorrow. Give it to me Apple. :)
 

Steven1621

macrumors 6502a
Apr 10, 2003
796
0
Connecticut
I think most people would say that the PDA is a dead market. And the tablet is too much of a niche product. Apple must be coming out with something is completely new - a paradigm shift, if you will. very exciting times.

my guess is that it will be media center inclinded. a tablet interface isn't great for productivity, but i am sure many of us could sit on the couch, controling/viewing our movies, pictures, and music with a tablet. so maybe think OQO, but better.
 

Eniregnat

macrumors 68000
Jan 22, 2003
1,841
0
In your head.
Don't forget that keybordless entry may work better for different cultures, at least if your attempting to appeal the mass markets in and around Asia. While there are keyboards and entry systems designed to falcate use of kanji, hanzi and the like, some feel that they are far from an optimal entry system. Why change cultures, when it is possible to change the technology and be inclusive. Teaching entry machine specific entry techniques to the masses may not the best way to include everybody in your "technologic" revolution.

Just a thought, but then again, I own a FrogPad and thus am a weirdo.
 

age234

macrumors 6502
Jun 28, 2004
376
0
As a college student, I prefer writing notes to typing, and if a computer could recognize my pseudo-cursive, I'd love it. I tried a Windows tablet/laptop, but it just wasn't good enough. But if Apple can pull off a really good keyboardless UI, I'd be in line right away.

If not a tablet Mac, then an iPod PDA (with an iSight camera and wireless, of course) would be a great 2nd choice. I'm going to start saving my pennies...
 

1984

macrumors 6502a
Jan 1, 2005
578
120
Everyone posting to a messageboard should take this test for a start! ;)

If Apple just posted these job descriptions the other day how far away is the first viable product?
 

nagromme

macrumors G5
May 2, 2002
12,546
1,196
Inkwell being in OS X (not hidden, not a beta, but there for the public) has always made me think Apple was seriously thinking about doing SOMETHING with it. What, I don't know. A job posting makes it sound near certain, though. (But not SOON--the posting just happened.)


If anything, I think an "all-screen iPod" is a long time away. It sounds like something Apple might be working on--but not planning to sell right away.

And maybe following that would be a computer-based device--the one this job posting is needed for.

One thing that could make a multipoint gesture interface easier to introduce on some products: it doesn't take AWAY other ways of working. Point, click, drag can all work just as always--with one finger/stylus. The zoom and pan and gestures need only come into play when you use 2 or more fingers. (And Apple trackpads already know the difference between 1 finger and 2.)

That assumes computer-based usage (like Inkwell already is). iPod use is even simpler: virtual clickwheel that works the same as always. I'd miss the tactile click, but it would be very cool in other ways.
 

EricNau

Moderator emeritus
Apr 27, 2005
10,657
54
San Francisco, CA
Sounds like Apple has a tablet up their sleeve.

It also sounds like they really want to get the handwriting interface perfect (unlike some other companies).

This also shows that we won't be seeing a tablet for a while.
 

Caitlyn

macrumors 6502a
Jun 30, 2005
842
0
I really see no need for an Apple PDA/Tablet thing. Are tablets really that popular anymore?
 

iMeowbot

macrumors G3
Aug 30, 2003
8,634
0
A real possibility is that Apple may be replacing people who have left. It's interesting that some of the newest applied-for patent material is missing an assignment to Apple. Was it spun off?
 

bousozoku

Moderator emeritus
Jun 25, 2002
14,143
173
Lard
Eniregnat said:
Don't forget that keybordless entry may work better for different cultures, at least if your attempting to appeal the mass markets in and around Asia. While there are keyboards and entry systems designed to falcate use of kanji, hanzi and the like, some feel that they are far from an optimal entry system. Why change cultures, when it is possible to change the technology and be inclusive. Teaching entry machine specific entry techniques to the masses may not the best way to include everybody in your "technologic" revolution.

Just a thought, but then again, I own a FrogPad and thus am a weirdo.
That's the big deal. There are several writing pads for CJK languages for Windows but none really for Macintosh. While roman input conversion is acceptable, why not just write it? It's especially important when there is no single (or standardised) roman transliteration for several languages.
 

balamw

Moderator
Staff member
Aug 16, 2005
19,366
978
New England
iMeowbot said:
A real possibility is that Apple may be replacing people who have left. It's interesting that some of the newest applied-for patent material is missing an assignment to Apple. Was it spun off?
Assignment is only a must when the patent finally issues. It's failry common for published patent applications, like the ones here, not to be assigned to anyone. It helps keep the patents unknown a while longer. Even though they have been published searching for them is harder...

B
 

AtlantaGuy

macrumors member
Jan 13, 2002
39
0
Atlanta, GA
Caitlyn said:
I really see no need for an Apple PDA/Tablet thing. Are tablets really that popular anymore?
They are in my line of work. I'm a real estate broker and would pay just about anything for a Mac tablet! I love my 17" PowerBook but am sorely tempted by the Motion Computing LE1600 slate tablet. Please, SJ, save me from the Dark Side!
 

Whistleway

macrumors 6502
Feb 16, 2005
347
0
For those around when Newton was there,

Where did Newton go wrong and what can apple do to set the record straight?
 

yac_moda

macrumors 6502
Dec 27, 2002
309
0
See, Apple liked my suggestion so now they are looking for a guy that can build gestures to work that way.

They liked my suggestion so much a day or two later they start looking.

Finally a Mac tablet pretty soon.
 
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