An Answer to “Who Needs a Stylus?” on Handwriting Recognition on Mobile Devices

  • Andreas Holzinger
  • Gig Searle
  • Bernhard Peischl
  • Matjaz Debevc
Part of the Communications in Computer and Information Science book series (CCIS, volume 314)


”Who needs a stylus?” asked the late Steve Jobs during his introduction of the iPhone. Interestingly, just at this time, Apple had made a patent application in handwriting and input recognition via pen, and Google and Nokia followed. So, “who needs a stylus then?” According to our experience in projects with mobile devices in the “real-world” we noticed that handwriting is still an issue, e.g. in the medical domain. Medical professionals are very accustomed to use a pen, whereas touch devices are rather used by non-medical professionals and definitely preferred by elderly people. During our projects on mobile devices, we noticed that both handwriting and touch has certain advantages and disadvantages, but that both are of equal importance. So to concretely answer “Who needs a stylus?” we can answer: Medical professionals for example. And this is definitely a large group of users.


Handwriting recognition Pen-based input Mobile computer Human-computer interaction 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Andreas Holzinger
    • 1
  • Gig Searle
    • 1
  • Bernhard Peischl
    • 2
  • Matjaz Debevc
    • 3
  1. 1.Institute for Medical Informatics, Statistics and Documentation, Research Unit HCI4MEDMedical University GrazGrazAustria
  2. 2.Softnet AustriaGrazAustria
  3. 3.Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computer ScienceUniversity of MariborMariborSlovenia

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