Pen Computing

The method of computer user interface using Tablet and Pen instead of mouse and key board is known as Pen Computing. Use of touch screen devices like Mobile phones, GPS, PDA etc using the Pen as input is also referred to as Pen Computing. Pen Computing essentially has a Stylus commonly known as the Pen and a hand writing detection device called Tablet. First Stylus called Styalator was used by Tom Dimond in 1957 as the computer input.

Stylus and Digital Pen are slightly different even though they perform the functions of Pointing.

Stylus pen is a small pen shaped device used to give inputs to the touch screen of Mobile phone, PC tablet etc while Digital pen is somewhat larger device with programmable buttons and have pressure sensitivity and erasing features. Stylus is mainly used as the input device of PDA (Personal Digital Assistant), Smart phones etc. Finger touch devices are becoming popular to replace the Stylus as in iPhone.

The Digital pen is similar to a writing pen in shape and size with internal electronics. The Digital pen consists of

  1. Pointer– Used to make markings on the Tablet. This is similar to the writing point of a Dot pen.
  2. Camera device– To sense the markings as inputs.

           3. Force sensor with Ink cadridge – Detects the pressure applied by the Pen into corresponding inputs.

4. Processor – A microprocessor based system to analyze and process the input data.

5.Memory – To store the memory on input data.

6.Communication system– To transfer the data to the Mobile phone or PC through Bluetooth technology.

7.Battery– Long life Lithium battery

Pen Computing can be implemented in many ways but generally the system functions by the combination of several methods.

  1. Stylus input

The stylus along with the tablet act as the Pointing input to replace the common pointing device like the Mouse which points the cursor on the screen. In Pen computing, the user should touch the Pen at the exact region of the tablet surface. But when compared to Mouse actions such as double clicking is difficult with Pen since it is difficult to point the pen twice exactly at the same point.

  1. Hand writing Recognition

The Tablet is designed to recognize the pointing of the Pen on its screen. The Pen and Tablet works like the Key board and Computer. During each key stroke, the computer recognizes the alphabet. Similarly, during each pointing with the pen, the tablet recognizes the handwriting. In the Tablet, the strokes of the Pen are identified and analyzed an Electronic Ink and recognize the markings as the hand written characters. These characters are then recognizing as the input text by the software as in the Key board strokes of PC. The software can identify the points and writing characters made on the tablet. The Pen has Pointing mode as well as Writing mode which can be selected by the button present in the Pen.

The Pen can be used for Touch, Press, write, drag on the Tablet. By using the Gesture method, the Tablet recognizes certain shapes using the special command. These gesturing methods will not consider such special shapes as hand writing. Pen Point OS is used as the operating system for the gesture recognition and Handwriting input.

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