|OnScreen: for Windows; On-Screen Keyboards with Assistive Technology; Version 1.80; User's Guide|
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OnScreen was conceived in its simplest form by Kermit Komm in a brainstorming session at a company called Future Technologies. The original name "My-T-Mouse" was a contraction of "My Typing Mouse", and the original product was designed as a mouse utility to enable a mouse to type and perform any operation within the GUI (Graphical User Interface) without the need for a physical keyboard (this aspect of the design has become the underlying theme for the acceptance of the products and their technology in the marketplace).
Note: My-T-Mouse was originally introduced to the world at Fall COMDEX 1993 (when COMDEX, i.e. the Computer Dealers Exposition, was the premier trade show for everything happening in the computer industry - My-T-Mouse was featured as one of the highlights of the show in a program called "Computer Chronicles" (a well known series that ran from 1981 through 2002). You can find this archived video [Computer Chronicles Fall COMDEX 1993] at the Internet Archive).
Legal note: The My-T-Mouse name (and its resultant phonetic pronunciation) created a trademark dispute raised by Viacom (with its cartoon character having a similar sounding name), eventually winding up before the Trademark Trials & Appeals board and setting a citable precedent, with Viacom's opposition to the My-T-Mouse® trademark being dismissed.
When introduced in 1993, the concept of an on-screen keyboard was new and far from the mainstream, and in the beginning years much education was required to explain "why" anyone would want or use an on-screen keyboard. Over the years, with the introduction of handheld devices, the growth of touchscreen based systems, and the maturation of pen-based systems, the concept of an on-screen keyboard has become commonplace, and in many situations, expected as an alternate input mechanism.
Since the original product was named "My-T-Mouse", much effort was expended in explaining that the product would work with touchscreens or pen based systems (or, in fact, any pointing device that could act like a mouse), so "My-T-Pen" and "My-T-Touch" were created to address the needs of the marketplace. In order to encompass the now growing family of on-screen keyboards, the name "My-T-Soft" (i.e. My Typing Software) was created and eventually used as the encompassing trademark of the entire My-T-Soft® family of on-screen keyboards and utilities. There is also a version enhanced for people with specialized needs was originally named My-T-Soft AT (or My-T-Soft with Assistive Technology), and eventually renamed OnScreen to differentiate its capabilities with the more commercially focused versions.
Conceived during the original development of My-T-Mouse, the concept of Build-A-Board has been under constant refinement and development during the entire lifetime of My-T-Mouse and its derivatives. At some point in the future, Build-A-Board's capabilities will be expanded to enable not only completely customizable layouts, but to meet or exceed all of the capabilities of the original products and its derivatives.
Many of the enhancements and utilities came from all involved and OnScreen users.
In the 20 years as a commercial product, many individuals have been involved at various levels, and thanks & acknowledgements go to everyone so involved.
Note: The following acknowledgements are for the original release in 1993.
Product Concept, Screen Presentation & Usability: Irwin Handelman
Logo & Graphic Artwork & Fonts: Marc Handelman
Windows Interface & Keyboard Emulation: Kermit Komm
Keyboard Display & Display Interface: George Merritt
OnScreen Setup & Graphic Artwork & Help Files: Darrel Niemann
Manual & Help Information: Lorrie Greene