[HCI] NYTimes: Trying to Make the Pen as Mighty as the Keyboard

http://nytimes.com/2004/11/11/technology/circuits/11next.html

New York Times article looking at why Tablet PCs haven't really taken off yet.


According to Andy van Dam, a computer science professor and vice president for research at Brown University, who also serves on Microsoft's technical research advisory board, Tablet PC's and other pen-driven computers won't take off until pen gestures provide new ways of interacting with the machines instead of simply substituting for a mouse. Pen computers could find markets in education, architecture, graphic design and user-interface design, he said. "For these people, a pencil and a piece of paper are more natural almost than a computer keyboard on a desktop."

But pen software needs more testing to find out what users really want, he said. "For a relatively pure gesture-driver user interface, it's all research," he said. "None of these have had a field trial with a thousand users, let alone ten thousand. Gestures are never going to be for everyone, so I don't want to impose them. But we can make them an option."

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