History of Multi-Touch UIs
Now that everyone is starting to get lawyered up about multi-touch UIs, it’s good to take a look at Bill Buxton’s excellent history of multi-touch systems.
This sort of thing happens pretty regularly. It’s easy now to forget about the diversity of UIs which were around before the mouse & menu hegemony started.
I worked on several tablet based systems in the early 80’s. For example, the Applicon systems used a tablet for drawing, but also used it for issuing commands using a gesture system similar to the one later called Graffiti by Palm. This was based on work that Ledeen did in 1967, but that didn’t seem to matter when Xerox sued Palm.
Whenever I talk to IP lawyers, it seems like my answer to all of their ideas is: