History of Pen and Gesture Computing:
Annotated Bibliography in On-line Character Recognition,
Pen Computing, Gesture User Interfaces and Tablet and Touch Computers

Copyright © 20240414 22:35:09 EDT

This posting is an annotated bibliography focused broadly on touchscreen and gesture user interfaces, on-line character recognition (a.k.a. dynamic character recognition, a.k.a. pen and touch computing), both hardware and software. It has been a continuing work-in-progress since the 1980s. It includes references on related technical topics I have encountered in my career: for example PDAs/highly-portable computing, cryptographic communications, signature verification, biometric authentication, and digital rights management (DRM). I am posting it as a service to those with interest in the field.

It may also be of special interest to anyone investigating any of the areas of digitizer tablets, touchscreens, character recognition, touch/gesture user interfaces, multi-touch computing, passive and active tactile feedback, touch and proximity sensors, augmented reality, haptics, context-dependent intrepretation of user input, and applications including the same. It covers the time period from approximately 1887 / 1891 (first electronic tablets with "touch" input and a display), through 1914 (first electronic gesture/handwriting-recognition input and user-interface system), to the first handwriting-recognition tablet device connected to a modern electronic computer in 1957 (the "Stylator") and the more famous Rand Tablet (1961), to the present day.

As with any subject, the focus has modulated over the decades, and this bibliography follows these topics both forward in time, and historically back in time. Tablets and touchscreens have evolved into a variety of pointing devices, into PDAs and smart-phones, locating and gesturing sensors with three-dimensional input with six degrees of freedom, and more.

For example, there are no real lines between touch sensing for robotics, touch and contact sensing for user human input, fingerprint sensors, and touch and proximity sensing in general.

Likewise, there are no real lines between haptics for touchscreens, haptics for instrumentation, and biometric feedback. Earlier work on handwriting recognition, with handwritten symbols sometimes used for command input as "gestures", has evolved to be part of a much broader range of gestures, including in-air and 3D gestures.

Command user interfaces have merged with direct manipulation, and then with graphical user interfaces and virtual reality. Authenticating handwritten signatures has evolved to additional forms of dynamic biometrics. Haptic feedback has evolved from "simple" force-feedback to encompass tactile stimulation using electrovibration and sonic shock waves, and perceptual effects of visual and audio signaling. Virtual reality systems seem to have waxed and waned, and waxed again.

It is, indeed, a rich and complicated field, in all its aspects.

Jean Renard Ward For additional information on Rueters-Ward Services,
including my CV for consulting or as an expert witness:
URL:   http://www.ruetersward.com.)
e-mail: jrward@alum.mit.edu
Google Voice: 617-600-4095

References from the approximate years 2011 to 2013.

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