back to article Apple pen-tablet plan revives Newtonian handwriting

An Apple patent filing may point to pen-based handwriting recognition in Cupertino's oft-rumored tablet/netbook/media-pad/ebook/whatever. Or it may not. Published on Thursday, the filing carries the rather prosaic appellation: "Method and Apparatus for Acquiring and Organizing Ink Information in Pen-Aware Computer Systems" …


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  1. Player_16

    All I Have To Do Is Dream

    Dream, dream dream dream, dream, dream dream dream

    When I want you in my hands, when I want you and all your charms

    Whenever I want you, all I have to do, is

    Dream, dream dream dream...


  2. Robert E A Harvey


    I want an ebook reader, true enough. But one that does not tie me to buying books from the hardware vendor.

    And, like paper books, allows me to remove it from my reader and give it away to a friend. Or to Oxfam to sell for charity.

    Or, like paper text books, allows me to sell them second hand at the end of the year/course to the next bunch of hopefulls

    And which, when copyright expires, allows anyone to read it, copy it, archive it.

    The obvious solution is to put the books on tiny memory slips, like microSD, and give the reader half a dozen slots and a pocket on the back to keep a few hundred more in. Such memory slips could be read-only, and not available blank, if the trade want to control piracy. I'd be happy with that, as long as encryption was an ISO standard and not proprietary to one supplier.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Just in time for Christmas

    I'll get the cranberry sauce and leave the stuffing for the fanbois..

    Or Paris.

  4. It wasnt me
    Thumb Down

    @Robert E A Harvey

    "The obvious solution is to put the books on tiny memory slips, like microSD, and give the reader half a dozen slots and a pocket on the back to keep a few hundred more in."

    That sir, is an obvious solution. One obvious solution to get to the sun is to flap your wings and fly there. Both are completely unworkable and impractical.

    I think both the industry and the consumer want rid of physical media (per book/song/film). We just need to find a way to kee both sides happy wrt copying. When the starting point for negotiation from the industry is "we want the same price per initial sale, but remove all rights / possbilities for resale and reduce production cost", it is never going to be easy. Selling them on expensive silicon wont help at all, and is as environmentally unsound as you could reasonably hope for.

  5. richard 69
    Jobs Halo


    i'd like an easy to use ebook reader.....but i'd also like a stylus based tablet....but which is better.....there's only one way to find out.......FIGHT!!!!!!

  6. John Sanders

    Some do not get it

    @Robert E A Harvey

    Digital information wants to flow free, no proprietary system will become universally adopted unless information flows free on it.

    Digital readers will succeed the day they can render a standard PDF with pictures at least using 200dpi on a real-state screen approximately the size of a regular book.

  7. David Edwards

    Handwriting recognition

    Is HWR that important, is it the "killer app" of the tablet. I think no.

    Being able to write note, on a screen, store them electronically and have useful things like them being auto dated and categorized e.g team meeting, server architecture etc then encrypted is fantastic, as it would aid fast recall and various other things.

    But I don't really need them converted into computer text, my notes are very contextual, there are scribbles, emphasis, lines drawn between words, stars in the corner and all sorts of things that would be very difficult to represent without some very very very clever software, so whats the point.

    Im quite happy to take notes in a meeting and then type them up later, usually into a very different format.

    All I really want is an ever lasting A4 notepad, with a date stamp.

    BTW Microsoft Courier looks very close to dream device so far, lets hope its more than the dream

  8. Annihilator

    Eat up Martha

    Don't they have plenty of patents like this already?

  9. Jolyon

    @David Edwards

    "All I really want is an ever lasting A4 notepad, with a date stamp."

    Making it searchable surely has to be a Good Thing.

  10. Evil_Trev

    I dream of thieviery

    Those wonderful tablets, small, ubiquitous, expensive, with loads of downloaded, paid for content, how marvellously thievable, books on the other hand, who'd bother stealing a £4.99 paperback these days ?

    Bet the 'security' is very poor on them.

  11. sabroni Silver badge

    @ John Sanders

    Digital information doesn't have wants. Don't you mean "I don't want to pay for stuff"?

  12. Bilgepipe
    Gates Horns

    @David Edwards

    @David Edwards:

    I wouldn't spend to much time worrying about Microsofts Courier, it's nothing more than a CGI rendering.

  13. Richard 102

    Inkwell finally put to good use?

    When Inkwell came out in 10.2 -- or possibly 10.3 -- I thought that Apple was imminently releasing a tablet or PDA or whatever. Since then it's been sitting there like a .... sitting thing, forgotten like something I can't remember the name of, and abandoned like a campaign promise.

    (Knew I'd get one in eventually.)

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    DAMN IT'S ABOUT TIME! Every time a PDA or phone is released the *first* thing I look to see is if it has hand writing recognition and it never does darnit! I have become increasingly annoyed wondering why the heck no ones makes one. The technology has been around since the Newton! I want an electronic notepad! I want to write not peck! I have yet to buy a hand held device because of this.

  15. Wilko1980

    HWR on phones.

    @ AC:

    My phone has handwriting recognition, and it's pretty good (the phone sucks but the HWR is good - its a Nokia 5800 if you're wondering).

    You obviously haven't been looking hard enough, I can think of at least 5 phones with HWR, most significantly better than mine.

  16. Hans 1


    I think AC is talking about devices worth it. If the device is useless for most other stuff (except calling and SMS) then what good is HWR?? Handwrite your SMS? LOL

    Nokia's are good for SMS and phone only, AFAIK (have had a few, never tested HWR on 'em, though), and I assume the other 4 are Nokia's!

    Keyboard, because I had a giggle reading the comments ...

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