Why the Pen is Mightier than the Pad

The iPad and other tablets like the Galaxy have brought a new dimension to computing. They are the closest thing we have to conventional non-IT-based reading, writing and drawing technology. In other words, pen and paper.

The fundamental flaw they have, however, is that the technology is in the pad whereas, if you think about it, with conventional pen and paper the technology is in the pen, not the paper.

Ink flows from the pen onto the paper. Where the ink goes is controlled by the user, not by the paper. And any part of the paper which is touched by anything other than the tip of the pen remains unblemished. The pen is mightier than the paper.

Our view is that the next great leap in ‘computing for the masses’ will be when the "pointing device" takes the next step and becomes the true controller of the technology instead of the slave to the machine.

Adobe Ideas Is an app which already moves in that direction but it’s not quite there.

So keep an eye out for pointing devices that become smarter and pads than become dumber.

They will be the user interfaces of the middle of the 21st century.