Graffiti

Graffiti

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In the context of technology, Graffiti refers to a handwriting recognition system used in Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs) developed by Palm Inc., a company that was once a pioneer in handheld devices.

Introduced in the late 1990s, Graffiti was used as the primary text input method on Palm’s devices. It was designed to recognize stylus strokes on the touch-sensitive display, converting these strokes into text. Graffiti required users to learn a somewhat simplified set of pen strokes for letters, numbers, and common punctuation marks, but once these were mastered, text input could be quite fast.

Despite being a popular feature among Palm users, Graffiti faced some legal challenges. A company called Xerox claimed that Graffiti was infringing on its patent for a similar technology called Unistrokes. In the end, Palm decided to replace Graffiti with a modified version known as Graffiti 2, which was based on technology from a company called CIC.

As of my knowledge cutoff in September 2021, Graffiti isn’t widely used, as the rise of smartphones with full touch-screen keyboards has largely replaced the need for standalone handwriting recognition systems like Graffiti. However, similar technology underlies some of the handwriting recognition and stylus input systems used on modern devices, such as tablets and hybrid laptop-tablet devices.

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