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INKWELL!

post #1 of 41
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Maccentral:

"Inkwell. Handwriting recognition technology. Recognized by any application that uses text. "

HOTDAMN!
post #2 of 41
Okay, is this useful for anything unless you have hardware without a keyboard?
post #3 of 41
Are you kidding me? Look at the big picture, This puts apple one step closer to the tablet mac or a handheld OS X device. This is a good thing!
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post #4 of 41
The question was would it be useful for anything besides a tablet. This is a challenge to all the tablet skeptics. Why is Apple putting this into the operating system if they are not planning on releasing a tablet?
post #5 of 41
My guess is that Apple's been doing some work to better support Palm-based devices, and that's what Inkwell is going to work with (in addition to tablets). It's either that or Apple is coming out with their own OS X-based handheld.
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post #6 of 41
Why would Apple add InkWell API's to their OS in order to "support" Palm units? They are only useful on hardware that runs OSX, and no Apple hardware provides "off-the-rack" pen input.

Does it herald a development of iPod into something... Newton-like? That would mean a recompilation of OSX so it could run on iPod's processor - not very likely. To wit also, Jobs' often-quoted rejection of a new Apple PDA.

The only possible explanation must therefore be a tablet based on iBook technology; the ease with which it could be done has been described frequently in various discussion groups. The OSX would probably be a Lite version, easing the hardware demands.

Presenting InkWell at this time also seems to suggest that the iPad (or whatever) will be presented soon - perhaps this Summer, probably early Autumn after the release of Jaguar.

Personally, I don't see InkWell being a major development, but it will create quite a buzz and put paid to many partisan demands. As an input source, I would have preferred an updated voice-command/dictation API; that would have been a revolutionary technology when paired off with iPod....
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post #7 of 41
PS - Hopefully it's a vastly updated InkWell API we will be seeing. It's old and, in spite of the mythical qualities ascribed to it, not bleeding edge anymore....

[ 05-06-2002: Message edited by: engpjp ]</p>
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post #8 of 41
I'm a tablet skeptic, so here's my take.

classic lasted nearly 20 years, there will still be a very large installed base of classic users for the next 3-4 years.

X needs to last at least 10-15, minimum 9but with improvements, natch.) What is feasible 10 years from now is a different category from what is feasible/useful right now.

A tablet isn't any sort of improvement over a laptop unless you're in an environment where sitting down to use a laptop isn't practical. But inkwell could be good for a lot of things. Accessibility for disabled users, e-signatures for e-commerce, gesture recognition and new UI navigation schemes for the huge community of graphics tablet users. PDA is the obvious answer, but not the only one, nor is it neccessarily the immediate one.

Now a small subnote where the screen folds right around to become a tablet? That would be something cool and useful. xWide format, like the Sony picturebooks, but istead of conventional opening, the displat flips around (like bending over the spine of a book) to make a tablet surface fo the times when you can't sit down to type.
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post #9 of 41
post #10 of 41
[quote] The OSX would probably be a Lite version, easing the hardware demands. <hr></blockquote>

If they could do this, why haven't they? G3s are quite sluggish with OSX, so if they could ease the system requirements, why wouldn't they? Trying to get people to buy newer macs? I guess they didn't see that lawsuit coming ...
post #11 of 41
THE NEWTON LIVES!!!!!!!!

LONG LIVE ROSETTA!
post #12 of 41
Im sure hardcore AIers or other rumor mongering people will remember a rumor from a few years ago that stated that PowerBook prototypes had been seen with software that would allow you to use the trackpad as an input source.

On the MacOS X Jaguar page it says that Inkwell requires a trackpad of somekind...

BTW I just tried putting various pens on the trackpad, wide and thin... none make the curso move. How the hell does it 'know' when a finger is on it? I even tried with a thick eraser... doesnt work. Weird.

Anyway, a small area for jotting things or controlling would be neat
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post #13 of 41
maybe all the iPad badgering will get us our iPad eventually...
post #14 of 41
[quote]Originally posted by ZO:
<strong>BTW I just tried putting various pens on the trackpad, wide and thin... none make the curso move. How the hell does it 'know' when a finger is on it? I even tried with a thick eraser... doesnt work. Weird.</strong><hr></blockquote>

Same way as touch screens I think you would find. Not positive on them but I believe it probably relies on heat.
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post #15 of 41
ZO, it could be electrostatic discharge
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post #16 of 41
<a href="http://www.theregister.co.uk/content/39/25166.html" target="_blank">http://www.theregister.co.uk/content/39/25166.html</a>

[quote]Other announcements include a handwriting recognition service called Inkwell, available to applications right now, which perhaps paves the way for tablet-based Macs in the future. <hr></blockquote>

Interesting. According to theRegister it's available now.
post #17 of 41
Trackpads work on your body's capacitance - "your aura", you don't even need to touch the surface, a few mm above it should still move the trackpad.
post #18 of 41
[quote]gesture recognition and new UI navigation schemes <hr></blockquote>

That, my friend, would rock. Opera gestures built into the OS... niiiiice.
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post #19 of 41
From an old Apple techdoc (Titled: "Pen Based Systems Tech Doc") on Newton technology:


[quote]
Why Pen-based Systems?
Mans written records date back as far as 2360 B.C. Using a stylus made of wood, pictograms were etched into clay. So compared to keyboard-based input, the stylus or pen has been used much longer than the keyboard to record information. And even though personal computers have become pervasive in home, school, and work, the pen is a much more natural method of inputting information.
For some scripts such as Chinese and Japanese, keyboard input is not an efficient mechanism. There are thousands of characters in their written languages. Thus, front end processors have been developed to map the limited number of keys in a keyboard to their alphabet. In this situation, a pen-based system is also desirable.
Although, this technology can tap a wider user base, the major reason for the computer industrys interest in this enabling technology is its application to mobile devices. Mobile computing is anticipated to be the next major market.
Pen-based solutions provides three major benefits for the mobile computer:
  • Smaller size - Keyboards have been miniaturized to the ergonomic limit of the human hands. Particularly for people with large hands, these keyboards are unacceptable. For comfortable typing, a keyboard should be around 10 to 11 inches wide. With a pen-based system, the writing tablet can be made much smaller, but still be easily used.
  • Lighter construction - Keyboards consist of many plastic buttons and mechanical switches. With a pen-based system, the added weight comes from the addition of a layer added to the display, a stylus, and some electronics. Both are relatively light additions.
  • One hand operation - Keyboards require two hands and a flat surface to be useful. With its smaller size and lighter weight, a pen-based system could be held with one hand, as the other is used to write. And the user can use it while standing up, lying down, or hanging upside down.

The major difference with pen-based systems is its casual element. Where a keyboard is ideal for large amounts of text input, the pen is useful for jotting down ideas, both textual and graphical. In certain situations, for example during a meeting, a keyboard tends to be obtrusive, large and noisy. On the other hand, a pen-based device can be small and not much different from a paper tablet.

...snip...

Gestures are also a key component of a pen-based system. Gestures are pen strokes which represent actions for the system. So instead of having to type or select a command from a menu, a simple hand movement can start an activity. For example, scrubbing the pen over a written object will cause it to be erased.
<hr></blockquote>

Sounds like the obvious application for Inkwell would be some kind of mobile device (Tablet, PDA etc.)...let's see what is in store for MWNY...

If anybody is interested I can mail them a copy of the entire techdoc... :cool:
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post #20 of 41
I remember a certain insider, I think her name was Belle, that posted in these forums back in 2000.

Back then she posted some stuff all about something refering to a stone, which was a codename to the Newton.

She said it would be available as a service to all apps.

2 years later, she was right, it was indeed Inkwell.
post #21 of 41
[quote]Originally posted by mikerally:
<strong>I remember a certain insider, I think her name was Belle, that posted in these forums back in 2000.

Back then she posted some stuff all about something refering to a stone, which was a codename to the Newton.

She said it would be available as a service to all apps.

2 years later, she was right, it was indeed Inkwell.</strong><hr></blockquote>

No, InkWell was called InkWell two years ago -
Rhosetta Stone is/was something else.

Edit: Oops! I see that Rhosetta Stone was InkWell's codename, but I remember that we speculated that R.S. was about translation.

[ 05-08-2002: Message edited by: JLL ]</p>
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post #22 of 41
also, zdnet did scoop this story two years ago, as well, with screenshots, and we all (including me) denounced them as fake. you can still check out the story here...

<a href="http://zdnet.com.com/2100-11-522507.html?legacy=zdnn" target="_blank">http://zdnet.com.com/2100-11-522507.html?legacy=zdnn</a>

newton hadwriting recognition with years of additional work, and gestures built-in... for every mac os x app... this is so friggin cool!
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post #23 of 41
[quote]Originally posted by rok:
<strong>also, zdnet did scoop this story two years ago, as well, with screenshots, and we all (including me) denounced them as fake. you can still check out the story here...

<a href="http://zdnet.com.com/2100-11-522507.html?legacy=zdnn" target="_blank">http://zdnet.com.com/2100-11-522507.html?legacy=zdnn</a>

newton hadwriting recognition with years of additional work, and gestures built-in... for every mac os x app... this is so friggin cool!</strong><hr></blockquote>

Good find! I remember seeing this but couldn't remember where.
post #24 of 41
[quote]Originally posted by Matsu:
<strong>Now a small subnote where the screen folds right around to become a tablet? That would be something cool and useful. xWide format, like the Sony picturebooks, but istead of conventional opening, the displat flips around (like bending over the spine of a book) to make a tablet surface fo the times when you can't sit down to type.</strong><hr></blockquote>


Acer had a prototype with that feature that was on the cover of PC Magazine a month or so ago. They have a couple of articles linked from Acer's americas home page. The unit weighs 3 pounds and looks pretty spiffy.
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post #25 of 41
[quote]also, zdnet did scoop this story two years ago, as well, with screenshots, and we all (including me) denounced them as fake.<hr></blockquote>

Not all of us.

As for Acer's machine, I've used it and it's not completely terrible other than the fact that XP crashes every 3 minutes on it. It also doesn't 'translate' your handwriting, it just puts it on the screen, and the pen doesn't have a way to 'right click' or easily double click. Very inconvenient.
post #26 of 41
[quote]Originally posted by Fran441:
<strong>
As for Acer's machine, I've used it and it's not completely terrible other than the fact that XP crashes every 3 minutes on it. It also doesn't 'translate' your handwriting, it just puts it on the screen, and the pen doesn't have a way to 'right click' or easily double click. Very inconvenient.</strong><hr></blockquote>

I figured as much, but I am intrigued by the form factor. I could see the iBook becoming such an animal if Apple decided to do that.
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post #27 of 41
Steve Jobs mentioned but chose not to discuss Inkwell at the last MacWorld. Given the concensus here, it seems unlikely Inkwell is to be accompanied by any new PDA device in the near future. Does anyone know of an OS X graphic tablet? Or Apple plans for one? What good then is Inkwell? What I am getting from this discussion is that only the Trackpad seeps a possibility.
Does anyone know for sure whether or not the present trackpad is capable of access for imput of shapes by pen? If not, surely one could be added to the system as an addition to an inpensive keyboard .

If this is possible, then contemplate the cash Apple could make in China or Japan. You write a Chinese character with a particular stroke order [top to bottom, left to right, the same way every time ] which could be used to suggest characters as strokes are added and really speed up the process. You can scribble quite a bit before finishing a sentence in Chinese in formal Chinese. Also, This could be toggled to allow use of the special simplfied characters also used in Chinese and in Japanese and Korean.

It could be useful for alphabet languages too, in the case where you are jotting phone or conference notes. While it might at first seem a bit odd to be writing letters on top of one another, you could see the words on the screen immediately and make corrections as you scribble, toggles for drawings of course.

If not, why not?
post #28 of 41
Yes Inkwell is very interesting. But imagine how interesting it would be if all Apple laptops running 10.2 all of a sudden could recognize pen input! Signatures, art, WOO HOO! :eek: It would have to be a special pen, as pointed out. Programmer, anyone, how do trackpads work? I was guessing electrostatic discharge... <img src="confused.gif" border="0">
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post #29 of 41
Yup, trackpads are sensative to electricity. Try taking your USB cord connected to your mouse, printer etc.... and touch the trackpad....only with the rubber on the wire...it works!!!
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post #30 of 41
BTW, the end of the USB cord has to be connected to the printer etc...I'm sure you knew that...
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post #31 of 41
[quote]Does anyone know of an OS X graphic tablet? Or Apple plans for one? What good then is Inkwell?<hr></blockquote>

Sure, I'm using a Wacom Graphire in OS X right now.

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post #32 of 41
Mac OS X's Inkwell, does this mean we will see a stylus equipped iBook? After all, the iBook is a succesor to the eMate, which capable of accepting both keyboard and stylus.

Besides, one of the iBook's markets is education (school), and kids loves using a stylus to draw and write things. And also, if you combined touch screen device and a iMac, people could write things without a keyboard, a nice feature for an electronic kiosk type applications.
post #33 of 41
Trackpads do indeed use capacitance.. here is a more indepth description from <a href="http://wombat.doc.ic.ac.uk/foldoc/foldoc.cgi?trackpad:" target="_blank">http://wombat.doc.ic.ac.uk/foldoc/foldoc.cgi?trackpad:</a>

Touchpads use a principle called coupling capacitance, and requires a conductive pointer such as a finger. They contain a two-layer grid of electrodes which are connected to an integrated circuit (IC) mounted under the pad. The upper layer contains vertical electrode strips while the lower layer is composed of horizontal electrode strips. Capacitance from each of the horizontal electrodes to each of the vertical electrodes is measured by the IC. A finger near the intersection of two electrodes modifies the capacitance between them, since a finger has very different dielectric properties than air. The position of the finger is precisely determined based on these changes at various locations.
post #34 of 41
dont think tablets.
inkwell is only the translation software that will allow yr handwritten notes to be dumped into computer fonts. period.
long before tablets become common, we will be using our bluetooth capable mac to receive our handwritten notes that are written with the new bluetooth capable pens that send the data to the mac (or the P800 fon...).
you will be in a meeting, writing with yr bluetooth pen, and press the send button on the pen, sending yr message to everyone in yr pan, to their iBooks, their Palms, their P800s.
apple is great at putting together bits of programs and making it user friendly. iTunes, iPod, iPhoto, all are just nice and easy to use.
same with inkwell and the suite of other apps that apple will use to put it all together in one neat application.
we dont carry graphics tablets around with us. we do,or rather, will be carrying bluetooh capable pens around.

[ 08-11-2002: Message edited by: niji ]</p>
post #35 of 41
As I predicted a good while back. Such beasts already exist and will be available from 3rd parties within the year. Not on specialized paper either. Priced between 80-140 USD.
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post #36 of 41
How would such Bluetooth-enabled pens be powered? solar? or wind?

MY cell phone is always low on charge when I really need it - methinks it wouldn't be any different with such a pen... now, if power could be transferred wirelessly!

Having said that, the BT pen is a far more sensible proposition than using the tiny space offered by a touchpad - not to mention the awkward hand positioning it would demand.

I still see the addition of InkWell as SJ's method of icing the cake - giving glitz to a seriously empowered update (most of the improvements of which are under-the-hood and thus not as sell-apple as "Wow, I can write my CLI commands by hand!"). The ol' fox (eh, jagwire?) knows how to touch your mind and your wallet! :-)

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post #37 of 41
[quote]Originally posted by engpjp:
<strong>How would such Bluetooth-enabled pens be powered? solar? or wind?

MY cell phone is always low on charge when I really need it - methinks it wouldn't be any different with such a pen... now, if power could be transferred wirelessly!
</strong><hr></blockquote>

Bluetooth pen with a <a href="http://www.braincourse.com/wirelessa.html" target="_blank">Tesla Coil!</a>

[ 08-10-2002: Message edited by: Blizaine ]</p>
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post #38 of 41
post #39 of 41
i hope jagwire get these guys to support the mac.
post #40 of 41
I'm not sure how the spammer chose this thread to bump, but its pretty interesting reading these old pre-iOS comments. If you were to mention hand writing recognition today, I doubt many people would begin thinking about Mac-oriented applications of it.

I got a kick out of this; it kinda struck me as a "flying cars" type of prediction. LOL

Quote:
dont think tablets.
inkwell is only the translation software that will allow yr handwritten notes to be dumped into computer fonts. period.
long before tablets become common, we will be using our bluetooth capable mac to receive our handwritten notes that are written with the new bluetooth capable pens that send the data to the mac (or the P800 fon...).
you will be in a meeting, writing with yr bluetooth pen, and press the send button on the pen, sending yr message to everyone in yr pan, to their iBooks, their Palms, their P800s.
apple is great at putting together bits of programs and making it user friendly. iTunes, iPod, iPhoto, all are just nice and easy to use.
same with inkwell and the suite of other apps that apple will use to put it all together in one neat application.
we dont carry graphics tablets around with us. we do,or rather, will be carrying bluetooh capable pens around.
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