In Pictures: The Mother of All Demos - The 1968 presentation that sparked a tech revolution

On December 9, 1968, Dr. Douglas Engelbart addressed a packed theater at the Joint Computer Conference in San Francisco, demonstrating a new computing platform that heralded advancements from the computer mouse to videoconferencing. Forty-five years later, we're still reaping the benefits of his vision.

Gesture-based computing Engelbart interacted with the NLS via a keyboard and two novelties -- a three-button mouse and a lesser-known flat five-key handset that accepted finger gestures without quite resembling a modern trackpad. The user could press up to 31 key combinations, or "chords," on the handset to invoke different actions.

More than a way to enhance keyboard-based control, these devices moved beyond word-based input to more intuitive hand movements, paving the way for the gesture-based computing that became mainstream with the 2007 launch of the iPhone. Today's multitouch gestures -- tapping, pinching, rotating and swiping -- are the direct descendants of the clicking and chording that Engelbart demonstrated in 1968.

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