The Early Days - Image Analyzers
Our company was founded in 1980 by Robert Dezmelyk, and along with custom product development that year we launched our first product - the Image-80 Image Analyzer. It was named for both the year and its 4Mhz Z-80 processor. Using a digitizer, users could create a spatial database by tracing images such as aerial photographs or photomicrographs. Subsequently we launched the MicroPlan II, a digital planimeter based on an OEM version of the GTCO Type 5 digitizer. The MicroPlan II product line was distributed by Nikon as part of their line of scientific instruments.
In 1984 we began development of a software program called TeleVision which was intended to enable PC users to send and receive graphics images over dial up connections. It included many of the features of modern web browsers, including compressed bitmap images, graphically rendered fonts, and a tagged data stream. As a part of that project we developed TelePaint, a paint package. Both TeleVision and TelePaint were among the earliest mouse based PC-DOS applications.
One of our early TelePaint customers needed a DOS mouse driver for their mouse, and in response we developed the first widely available, legitimately reversed engineered emulation of Microsoft's DOS mouse driver. Ultimately millions of copies of that driver were distributed with mice from dozens of manufacturers. We also developed a complete line of drivers for manufacturers of digitizing tablets, including mouse emulation drivers, Autodesk ADI drivers, and some of the first Windows tablet drivers.
We developed drivers for many of the early, first generation pen computing companies and pen input technology vendors. These drivers operated under Windows for Pen Computing 3.1, PenRight, and the Momenta operating environments.
In 1991 we lead an open, industry standards committee which published the Wintab specification, an API for applications programs that use digitizers and other advanced input devices. The specification was based on input from tablet manufacturers and CAD, imaging, GIS and systems software developers. It incorporated concepts from earlier standards, particularly GKS and the MIT X-11 Input Extensions, and allowed applications developers in the Windows environment to work with a single standard API.
Convinced that a new standard was needed for the hardware interface between desktop input peripherals and personal computers we took an active role in the Access.bus standards effort, which lead to Universal Serial Bus. We participated extensively in the development of the USB Human Interface Device (HID) specification, including chairing the working group and editing the 1.0 version of the specification.