The electronic age has changed the way humans communicate and share information. Before computers, people relied on various forms of verbal, written and sensory modes of communication. While these still remain the primary modes of communication, the ways in which information is shared have been enhanced with the introduction of computers and portable devices.
How does this human input transfer into electronic devices? The answer is
simple – it is digitized by converting an analog signal derived from human input into a digital one that a computer or portable device can process.
Digitizing human input with the use of a portable device has become a necessity for mobile professionals. Mobile capability has expanded, enabling greater productivity, communication and convenience.
Digitizer technology has been around for many years and continues to evolve to meet the increasing demands for higher resolution, higher accuracy and lower power consumption. The similarities and differences between digitizer technologies used in portable applications and a brief overview of how each works is summarized below.
There are two basic types of digitizers used today: active digitizers; and passive digitizers. Both active and passive technologies use similar components to digitize data:
- A pen, stylus or human finger to generate input data
- A sensor device to generate x,y analog coordinates from the input data
- A micro controller to convert the to convert the x,y coordinates into digital data
- Driver software