The History of Tablets: When Was the First?

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August 25, 2012

With so much technology in the world today, it’s interesting that some don’t even know the start of these much famed and used and purchased items. Take tablets for instance, can you guess when the first patent was granted for an electronic tablet that was going to be used for handwriting?


Would you have even guessed anywhere near that time?

Along with that, the first patent that was added for a “tablet” that recognized handwritten characters by analyzing the specific motion of handwriting was granted in 1915. Now, aside from the different academic systems and other research systems that were created in between this time and the 1980s, there were a few commercial products created by then: Pencept, Communications Intelligence Corporation to name a couple.

Microsoft offered up their first chance to bring a tablet into the world in 1999 while coining the phrase “Microsoft Tablet PC” in 2000. These tablets that came from the corporation’s work in the early 2000 were made to be more business items than anything else. They were note-taking devices or technology pieces to use for field work, nothing like how they are now, but they were too heavy to be held for too long.

Of course, most don’t remember that Microsoft even made a tablet. All most remember is the Apple iPad and how it revolutionized the world. Or something like that. There were so many devices before the iPad, but whether it was the hype or the actual interface that brought more customers to use it, the iPad became one of the fastest selling tablets available and continues to be. Some consumers are so wrapped up in loving the iPad that they buy every generation that comes out even if there isn’t much of a change.

Interesting how it turns out that it may not be the technology but just the hype that takes over. There have been many other tablets that have come out into the world of consumers that weren’t from Microsoft or Apple such as the Dell Streak and Samsung Galaxy Tab. There was even a show of more than 80 tablets that are being released to compete with the big-time iPad.

Sure there are a few tablets to choose from and sure the iPad is a nice one, but there are so many new pieces of technology coming that we have coming in the future. Looking back is a good way to know how far we’ve come, but the future is the brightest with the unknown already in the works.

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