In the context of technology, Graffiti refers to a software input method where a user can write letters or characters using a stylus on a touchscreen, which is then recognized and translated into digital text by the device. Most commonly associated with Palm OS in the late 1990s and early 2000s, Graffiti allowed users to input data on handheld devices without a keyboard. It’s essentially a form of handwriting recognition technology.


The phonetic pronunciation of the word “Graffiti” is /ɡrəˈfiti/.

Key Takeaways

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  1. Graffiti is a form of art – Despite often being associated with vandalism, graffiti has been recognised as a form of street art that can convey deep artistic expression and social commentary.
  2. The legality of Graffiti varies – Graffiti’s legality is subjective and differs from region to region. In some places, it’s considered a punishable crime, while in others, it’s recognized and appreciated as local artwork.
  3. Graffiti can be a form of Social Commentary – Graffiti can often serve as a medium for social, political, or economic commentary, representing a population’s opinion or mood about certain issues.

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“Graffiti” in the context of technology refers to a software application developed by Palm, Inc. for their Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs). This input method for text entry allows users to use a stylus to write on the screen which the software then interprets into ASCII text. These user-friendly, intuitive interactions allowed for faster and more efficient data input compared to typing on microscopic keyboards, thus significantly improving the usability of handheld devices. The importance of Graffiti technology lies not only in its innovation during the early stages of portable device development, but also in how it paved the way for the touch and swipe-based interactions that we see on devices today.


Graffiti, in terms of technology, is a unique input method developed by Palm Inc. for their Personal Digital Assistants or PDAs. The primary purpose of this handwriting recognition system was to provide a simple and efficient data input alternative for devices where keyboards are typically unsuitable due to size constraints. Graffiti provides an interface that allows the stylus to be the ‘pen’, with users writing on the touch screen, which the software then translates into digital text.The practical benefits of Graffiti are apparent in the realm of mobile computing. It assists in bridging the gap between standard writing methods and digital text inputs, significantly boosting typing speed and accuracy on mobile devices. Users can quickly jot down notes, create reminders, draft messages, or carry out searches using standard alphabetic characters. Hence, it served as a forerunner for the natural handwriting recognition found in today’s tablets and smartphones.


1. Microsoft’s Graffiti: Microsoft’s Graffiti is an interactive tool that uses mixed reality for users to visualize, collaborate, and share ideas in 3D. It enables users to annotate, draw or attach virtual notes in physical spaces that can be seen and accessed by others. This futuristic technology has been used in various industrial applications to ease the collaboration and work process.2. Graffiti in Urban Planning: In many cities around the world, digital mapping technology is being used to track and manage graffiti. These systems can log reports of graffiti, track its location using GIS data, and help city departments coordinate clean-up efforts more effectively.3. Graffiti Analysis: Graffiti Analysis is a digital tool that is designed to analyze graffiti art. By capturing motion data from graffiti tags, it breaks them down into a simple visual code, allowing them to be analyzed and understood in new ways. This tool is used by artists and researchers alike to develop a deeper understanding of this form of urban art.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

**Q: What is Graffiti in the context of technology?**A: In a technological context, “Graffiti” refers to a software input method developed by Palm Inc. for personal digital assistants (PDAs) and smartphones. Originally released in 1996, Graffiti utilized a stylus for touch-based alphabetical input. **Q: Who developed the Graffiti software input method?**A: The Graffiti software input method was developed by Palm, Inc. **Q: What devices use Graffiti as an input method?**A: Graffiti was used widely across many personal digital assistants (PDAs) and smartphones, particularly those developed by Palm, Inc. However, the software is less common in modern electronics. **Q: How does the Graffiti input system work?**A: Graffiti works by the user drawing a simplified version of a character using a stylus on the screen. The software then interprets the drawn symbol as a text input.**Q: Why is it called ‘Graffiti’?**A: The name ‘Graffiti’ is supposedly derived from the idea that the user “draws” characters in a similar manner to graffiti artists, making simple, quick strokes to represent letters or symbols.**Q: What was the purpose of Graffiti?**A: The purpose of Graffiti was to provide a quick and easy alternate way of data entry for devices without a keyboard and where pressing small buttons with a stylus was cumbersome and slow. **Q: What is Graffiti 2?**A: Graffiti 2, released in 2002, is a revised version of the original Graffiti software. It incorporates a different set of stroke patterns and a refined recognition algorithm. **Q: Is Graffiti still in use today?**A: While you may still find the Graffiti input system on some older PDAs or smartphones, most modern devices have transitioned to on-screen keyboards, predictive text input, and voice recognition systems.

Related Tech Terms

  • Tagging
  • Stencil Graffiti
  • Graffiti Art
  • Street Art
  • Throw-ups

Sources for More Information


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