Appendix A

A History of Relevant Technology for Speech

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.

Arthur C. Clarke in Technology and the Future

Human-computer interaction (HCI) is a multi-disciplinary field. This timeline is intended to provide a context for developments in our industry and related communities of practice. As with any discipline, those who are successful stand on the shoulders of giants.

Time Period Event
Circa 3000 B.C. Early Writing

Sumerians use pictographs as written language on stone. Not only do individual pictographs represent one or several words, but they contain phonetic implications to suggest pronunciation. Egyptian hieroglyphs further develop this concept. These are the first icons.

Circa 500 B.C. Writing on Paper

Paper scrolls replace stone tablets as a more convenient medium for recording information.

Circa 400 B.C. - 200 A.D. Primitive Calculators and Books

Primitive counting machines and calculators, such as the abacus in China as well as the similar Roman tools called calculi, were used. Various civilizations used manual calculators for mathematical calculations and application in areas such as trigonometry and astronomy.

About 100 A.D. bound books replace scrolls and become the standard means of sharing information in Rome.

In 200 A.D. the concept of zero comes into being in India, a significant mathematical event.

1455 Printing Press Invented by Johann Gutenberg

Gutenberg employs metal castings for movable ...

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