Published Online: 15 SEP 2008
Copyright © 2007 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
Wiley Encyclopedia of Computer Science and Engineering
How to Cite
Jassar, S. 2008. Pen-Based Computing. Wiley Encyclopedia of Computer Science and Engineering. 1–7.
- Published Online: 15 SEP 2008
This article shows why the pen/stylus and digitizing tablet is a superior human-computer interface to the more widely used keyboard-mouse, in terms of the synergy between how the interface is used and the human cognitive system, and in turn explains how a human-computer interface is evaluated. The article begins with an explanation of pen-based computing from the user interface perspective. The major hardware component of a pen-based computer (its digitizing tablet) and its major software component (its handwriting recognition (HWX) engine) are both analyzed in terms of how a user perceives, interacts with, and makes use of them. The performance of these two major components is also discussed in terms of what their contribution is toward providing the user with a virtual pen and paper experience, the way in which they do this, and how well current technology allows them to do it. The results of an experiment conducted in 1995 to investigate the relationship between HWX performance and user satisfaction are analyzed and found to suggest that the pen interface is more suited to pointing and dragging tasks than to text entry, and thus user satisfaction is application dependent. The reader is then taken through the development of a physical and device-level cognitive model for pen-based systems by introducing and adapting the existing keystroke-level model (developed to evaluate the keyboard-mouse), where it is shown how and why the pen is a better input device than the keyboard-mouse in terms of execution speed. Finally, the results of an experiment conducted in 1991 to compare the performance of input devices in pointing and dragging tasks are analyzed and are found to support the proposal.
- pen-based computing;
- keyboard and mouse-based system;
- digitizing tablet;
- handwriting recognition;
- keystroke-level model (KLM)