Tuesday, March 8, 2011
A Brief History of Tablet Computing
Today’s tablet computers evolved from pen computing technology, which started as a way to capture handwriting with stylus devices. Here is a timeline of major events in the evolution of tablets.
A U.S. patent was granted to Elisha Gray for an electrical stylus device for capturing handwriting.
A U.S. patent was granted on a handwriting user interface with a stylus.
A U.S. patent was granted on a touchscreen used for handwriting input.
The Styalator electronic tablet with pen is invented; it is the first tablet that resembles the tablet computers we use today.
The RAND tablet (also known as Grafacon) was invented; this is often misidentified as the first tablet device. It sold for $18,000.
Crew members on Star Trek carried large, wedge-shaped electronic clipboards, operated through the use of a stylus.
Pencept introduces a general-purpose computer terminal using a tablet with handwriting recognition.
The GRiDPad from GRiD Systems was introduced, running on MS-DOS.
GO Corp. developed the PenPoint OS for tablet coputers. NCR released the Model 3125 pen computer running on MS-DOS and the new PenPoint OS.
: Apple Computer releases the Newton PDA. IBM releases the ThinkPad, its first commercial portable tablet PC. AT&T releases the EO Personal Communicator with wireless communications.
Motion Computing ships its first tablet on Microsoft’s Tablet OS.
PaceBlade releases the PaceBook Tablet PC. Fingerworks develops the touch technology and gestures that are later used in the Apple iPhone.
The Samsung Q1 UMPC (ultra-mobile PC) is released.
The touch interface becomes mainstream as HP releases its multi-touch capable TouchSmart tx2 series.
The Asus tablet netbook EEE PC is released with a multi-touch screen. Always Innovating introduces a tablet netbook with an ARM CPU.
Apple debuts the iPad.
At the Consumer Electronics Show, more than 80 new tablets are announced.