Sunday, 6 March 2011

How much do you know about the history of tablets?

You may be fooled into thinking that tablets are a phenomenon that appeared only after Apple took the stage with its first iPad. But even I was surprised at how far back the concept reaches. Those who followed Microsoft closely earlier last decade (that's the 2000's; not the 90's!) know that the company announced a "tablet PC" that would run on XP in 2001. That's a good nine years before the arrival of Apple's show-stealer. But here's where it gets interesting.



This thing, called the PenCept could recognize handwriting. Released: 1985
The first device to employ a touch screen (a technology we briefly visited earlier)was released 1993 by a company called BellSouth under the name IBM Simon. It did not include handwriting recognition, but did permit users to write messages and send them as faxes on the analog cellphone network, and included PDA and Email features.

Some technologies need a pioneer to really break through to the public. We've talked about how the 3DS should fulfill that role for glasses-free 3D. But now ask yourself: What exactly is Apple pioneering with the iPad 2?

Trivia: The first patent for an "electrical stylus device for capturing handwriting" was issued to an American woman called Elisha Grey. In 1888!

55 comments:

Charles said...

impressive! a tablet older than I am

CandleintheDark said...

I am actually very interested in trying the 3DS. I hope its as good as promised.

ed said...

tablets are probably going to overtake laptops and such in a few years

Chris said...

Wow, cool story indeed

Kicking Rocks said...

I've never heard of the PenCept till now.

Adventure Person said...

Didn't know about the 1888 patent - that's pretty cool!

Jack.CA said...

Interesting info.

If they had marketed it like Apple nowadays, it probably would have sold more. :)

The Game Store Guy said...

The first thing that came to mind. "Absolutely nothing" Very cool article. Thanks for the info.

tearinox said...

crazy how early people think of doing something before it becomes popular :) following

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80k said...

I kind of like but hate the ipad, I can see its uses but at the same time i can see how its completely useless. Maybe something you'd be more interested in as a company for presenting stuff t your client, but the novelty features are dung.

PekkaK said...

I want one of those PenCepts :D I really think that Apple will do something revolutionary with iPad 2.

Merlyy said...

The station reminds me of the computer in LOST lol


4 8 15 16 23 42

ankmanpro said...

Very interesting! Followed!

BORIS said...

It's very interesting, but i think nothing is gonna change in iPad 2 maybe faster

T3CH said...

1888! That's crazy ...

Tony Storm said...

i still think the presentation of tablets its not quite good

level85nerd said...

THats interesting! i didnt knew that.

TheLake said...

pretty interesting to read, i for sure didn't know that

mac-and-me said...

i had my first tablet around 2001
now i have an ipad and i love it :3

thenitefalls said...

wow I didn't know the history of tablets went back that far! It's amazing how one idea can be so innovative to influence the future.

MonkeyBizz said...

Interesting, didn't knew about that.

Meghan Moran said...

Cool background. I can't think of apple pioneering anything really, except that they take an already available product and streamline the design and make technology fashionable.

XXII said...

@Meghan Moran.

Hit it on the nose.

Kyle Shankin said...

Very cool! I was definitely aware that Apple was not the first tablet creator. And as far as what they're engineering with the iPad 2: it's slimmer, has a camera, and can be bought in white. So essentially nothing lol.

Robert Fünf said...

I can't agree more with Meghan. I don't see why Apple is so popular. With the exception of creating media on their computes, they don't have the best anything. Only expensive and somehow fashionable devices.

Alphabeta said...

Handwriting recognition in 1985.
Impressive.

Mybigjimmy said...

LOl at that wee tv

Banacek said...

I think it's still going to be a while before I feel compelled to buy a tablet.

elexerdelex said...

Cool post! Apple is just a good marketing concept... But whats wrong with that? :)

Gryt said...

Haha, Steve Jobs is stealing the work of American women from the late 1800's. I really don't know what else you could add to the iPad besides the feature for it to think for you

WizWayne said...

I didn't really know some of this good to hear

Harvenger said...

I'll try it. But i don't think it's going to be that good.

Lhosreiff said...

Wow that tablet looks like its a piece of garbage.

Chuck said...

Yeah 1888 is pretty impressive, though more surprising to me is that it was a woman who patented it.

Justsayin' said...

Cool post. Very interesting I didn't know they went back that far.

rndmg123 said...

apple just makes em popular

stebolius said...

Thanks for this info!

Westus said...

I have been thinking about getting a tablet recently... do you have any suggestions about what kind to purchase?

Jason said...

woah interesting fact!

sildude said...

Nothing in the Ipad2 is revolutionary.

Ada said...

I wish tablet PCs were more expansive and customizable instead of being...so...simplified? I played with an iPad and it's really limited in some ways.

Shutterbug said...

Didn't know that... I learn something new everyday! :)

-DO- said...

never heard of that before, thx for sharing

amBored said...

nice post I love following also followed together we fight as one bros! :D monitoring this blog!

Rawr said...

hi, followin you! :D

The Viking said...

To answer the headline, nothing at all, lol. New follower here :)

GFTM said...

hmm, still interested in the iPad II. Following! :)

Erick Ramírez said...

1888? That's a long time ago

Nik Mekeena said...

very cool

Jung said...

3DS is the next level.

Mike Yang said...

Ahh... I loved the Newton, still miss it!

Mike Yang said...

@Ada: Check this out: http://www.axiotron.com/index.php?id=modbook

Alex DeLarge said...

pretty soon they'll be paper thin

Helios Blog Log said...

cool..i love it...i wanna one of those

spaceman said...

Haha, tablets :P. You forgot about pill form haha :P

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