FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Palm Computing Delivers Major Advance in Handwriting
Palm Computing's Graffiti(TM) power writing technology delivers
virtually 100% accuracy, high speed and complete user control over
text entry into handheld computers.
LOS ALTOS, Calif. -- September 19, 1994 -- Palm Computing(TM) today
announced Graffiti power writing technology, a new method of
entering text into handheld computers with a pen. Graffiti will support
all major pen-based computing platforms including Apple's Newton,
General Magic's Magic Cap, GEOS from Geoworks, Microsoft
Windows for Pen Computing, Microsoft Winpad and PenRight!.
Current shipping Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs) which will take
advantage of Graffiti add-on software include the Apple Newton
MessagePad, AST Gridpad 2390, Casio Z-7000, Sharp Expert Pad
PI-7000 and Tandy Z-PDA Zoomer. Graffiti represents a major
advance in handwriting recognition technology by delivering instant
and accurate recognition.
Graffiti works with a simplified version of the existing alphabet.
The user enters pre-defined strokes for each letter, Graffiti then
translates that stroke into the corresponding text character on the
computer screen. Testing has revealed that most users can learn
to enter these strokes fast enough to achieve more than 30 words per
minute with 100% accuracy. Because Graffiti works with a basic
modification of the existing alphabet, most users become competent
with Graffiti in less than 20 minutes.
Graffiti is being supported as an optional text entry method by a
wide range of handheld computing developers including: Apple
Computer, Casio Corporation, Hewlett Packard, Motorola and Sharp
"Palm Computing's introduction of Graffiti marks an important
milestone in the development of the mobile communications market,"
said Rhonda Dirvin, director PDA marketing, Motorola Personal
Portable Systems. "Motorola is excited about the reliability and
flexibility of this new handwriting recognition and believes Graffiti will
be a key enabling technology for a variety of handheld
High Speed and Accuracy Reduces User Frustration
By increasing the uniqueness of each character, Palm has developed
a system which is highly accurate, therefore addressing the major
frustration of current handheld computer users: predictability. If the
correct strokes representing a letter in the alphabet are entered
users will achieve 100% recognition accuracy.
Graffiti's efficient pattern recognition algorithm combined with the
simplified alphabet provide almost instant character recognition on all
supported systems. This results in an immediate response for the
user. Each time the user writes a strokes, the electronic ink
is instantly translated into a text character. The user gains control by
immediately verifying the information, which provides the opportunity
to instantly correct mistakes. The sensation of using Graffiti is very
similar to typing on a keyboard. When the user hits a key (strokes a
character) a letter appears on the screen.
Graffiti Allows Users to Write Almost Any Character
Graffiti covers many characters which are impossible to achieve with
current recognition technology including accented characters,
punctuation and symbols. Capitalization, punctuation, numbers and
symbols are handled similarly to a keyboard. When the user wants
to input a capital letter in Graffiti, they "shift" Graffiti into uppercase
through a simple upstroke. The letter following the upstroke is then
capitalized. Graffiti has shifts for caps lock and numbers, enabling
users to enter strokes similar to the actual characters of the Roman
alphabet without confusing a "1" and an "I", or a "5" and an "S".
These strokes are never confused by the Graffiti system.
"We've been very impressed with the completeness of the Graffiti
system," said, Richard C. Watts, vice president and general manager
of Hewlett Packard's Personal Information Products Group. "Graffiti
provides easy access to accented characters, symbols and
punctuation which are difficult to achieve with standard recognition
Graffiti Enables Future Generation of Pocket Sized Devices
Because Graffiti provides an immediate response to each stroke of
the pen, users do not need to write out words or sentences, but rather
can write one character on top of another. By not looking at the
screen, the Graffiti user can concentrate on the speaker or
the document they are transcribing. Further, since the user can write
in a small area on the screen, wide acceptance of Graffiti may result
in the development of smaller devices with smaller screens for
"Graffiti is a significant technology breakthrough which enables
development of pocket-sized devices with robust
data input capabilities," said Doug Brackbill, vice president, Mtel
AdvancedApplications Group. "We think Graffiti will spur the growth of
new markets for wireless messaging."
Through the use of Graffiti's ShortCuts (TM) large blocks of text can
be entered into the system with a few pen strokes. With ShortCuts a
user can build a library of frequently used phrases, and easily recall
any of them with a few strokes of the pen. For instance, the user may
create a thank you note which they often fax to customers. By
inputting the ShortCuts "shift" stroke and, for example, "th" for thank
you, Graffiti will recall the entire predefined block of text.
Graffiti User Testing Shows High Level of Satisfaction
Palm Computing conducted extensive user testing with Newton and
Zoomer owners, as well as non-PDA users. Ninety five percent of test
subjects who owned a Newton or Zoomer wanted Graffiti after testing.
Ninety seven percent of the Graffiti alphabetical characters were
recalled by users after a week of non-use. Several device
manufacturers have conducted their own user testing and found
"Our Graffiti user testing has been overwhelmingly positive," said Ed
Colligan, vice president marketing for Palm Computing. "Nearly all
users tested learned the system in under 20 minutes and became
proficient in less than 2 hours. Most users showed an extremely high
level of satisfaction. These results lead us to believe that Graffiti will
become a major method of data entry for pocket-sized computers."
Graffiti is based on Palm's patented recognition algorithms. Palm
has other patents pending on broad elements of Graffiti's unique
Product, Pricing and Availability Graffiti includes the core recognition
software which users download to their handheld device, and
an online tutorial and help system. A trial copy of Graffiti is available
directly from Palm Computing by calling 1-800-881-PALM or through
America Online, Compuserve or the Internet. Graffiti is priced at $79
and is immediately available for the GEOS and Magic Cap platforms
by calling 1-800-881-PALM. Graffiti for Newton will be available Q4
1994 direct from Palm Computing and wherever Newtons are sold.
Graffiti for PenRight! is available to potential vertical customers for
evaluation. Graffiti for Windows for Pen Computing and Winpad are
under development and slated for release next year.
Palm Computing is the leading independent provider of application
software for consumer focused handheld computers. Headquartered
in Los Altos, Calif., its products include personal information
management applications, desktop to handheld computer connectivity
software, PalmPrint handwriting recognizer and Graffiti power writing
Palm Computing, the Palm Logo, PalmPrint, ShortCuts, Graffiti and the
Graffiti logo are trademarks of Palm Computing, Inc.