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What's the point?

Innovative input devices for portable products. By Vanessa Knivett.

Cell phones and laptops were two of the first mobile devices to become widely popular. Technological improvements have made these gadgets smaller, faster, and more reliable and throughout recent years, wider forms of mobile technology have evolved into the mainstream. For example, Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs) and notebook computers are becoming more common, while cell phones and laptops have improved vastly. A key driver in this improvement has been ease of use, and one of the most important parts of this is navigation. Different use patterns have shaped the way that portable products are navigated. Whilst laptops are portable devices, they tend to be opened on desks or other relatively flat surface, allowing for the input of fairly standard devices, such as mice, joysticks and integrated devices like trackballs. Palm tops and mobile phones however have different requirements.

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Graham Pitcher

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