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A View from Michael Patrick Gibson

Search on a Tablet Made Easy

With the stroke of a pen, Microsoft’s InkSeine lets tablet users search the Web without typing a single letter.

  • August 29, 2007

On a tablet, searching for Web pages, e-mails, and documents can be very inconvenient: a user must either write her query terms in a search box that’s supported by handwriting recognition, or she must type text directly into a search box in a browser. And even then, the fruits of that search–links, names, and shortcuts–must all be manually typed back into the notebook work space.

Now Microsoft researchers have made searching for information outside the notebook work space a seamless experience. By simply circling words written with a stylus, a user can search the Web or her hard drive in one fluid motion.

One of the more interesting things about InkSeine is that it represents another step in a general movement away from the standard keyboard and mouse-click paradigm. Microsoft currently allows employees to download the program, and the research team says that an external version will be available soon.

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