The term Computer Pen applies to the use of a pen or stylus that functions as the computer or mobile (e.g. PDA) device’s user-interface. They are usually used in conjunction with a tablet or touchscreen and provide an alternative to using a conventional mouse, keyboard or joystick. In addition, a computer pen is sometimes referred to as a digital pen or smart pen.
Many people are amazed to learn that the term computer pen has a long history that predates the mouse/ monitor and can be traced back to 1888, when Elisha Gray patented an electrical tablet device incorporating the use of a stylus for capturing handwriting.
Depending on the system in question, a computer pen of today can interface via:
- Direct manipulation of objects on the screen.
- Replacing the function of the mouse through using the pen/ tablet to point or move the cursor.
- Replacing the function of the keyboard through using software to interpret the inputs from the pen/ tablet, in order to recognize handwriting and characters.
- Replacing the need for special commands, functions and characters by using the pen/ tablet to draw specific macro triggering shapes e.g. a particular squiggle to carry out the delete function.
- Recognition of input combination’s from more than 1 pen/ stylus e.g. using fingers, in order to carry out macro functions and a variety of other commands e.g. resizing or rotating an object.
Computer pens of today come in various designs and specifications and certain models can function without the need of a tablet. This type of product tends to use a specific grid-lined pen mat/ pad but some work satisfactory on a variety of surfaces. The use of Wi-Fi computer pens and tablets is becoming an increasingly common trend.
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For many people, the sheer number of permutations and combination’s of prices, features, designs and specifications make the process of choosing a computer pen/ tablet overwhelming. Therefore, in order to help you choose the best computer pen for your needs and budget, we aim to provide resources, information, tips, advice, latest news and independent reviews. As we update on a regular basis, remember to bookmark us and return soon.