Eugene Mosher

Gene Mosher (born January 13, 1949 in Watertown, New York) is best known for inventing the graphic touchscreen point of sale computer and is a pioneer of human-computer interaction, including application-specific GUIs and network computing.

Mosher is a 1966 graduate of Xaverius College in Borgerhout, Belgium and received a Bachelor's degree in Social Anthropology from S.U.N.Y. Buffalo in 1972.

As a restaurant builder/owner/operator from 1972 until 1984,Mosher first began writing point of sale software on his vintage Apple II computer in 1977 and pioneered point of sale software for the food & beverage vertical market to make practical the use of a PC as an order entry device (1978) and the printer as a way to communicate orders to the preparation areas of restaurants, namely kitchens and bars (1979). Mosher sold his restaurant business in 1984 and moved from Syracuse, New York to Eugene, Oregon, where he began work on the first graphic touchscreen point of sale computer, based on the Atari ST.

Mosher developed the first virtual graphic user interface (GUI) that featured a touchscreen for use in a point of sale environment. The GUI was comprised of touchscreen-driven graphic elements which comprised a complete, stand-alone, application specific GUI. The effect of the achievement was the creation and implementation of the paradigm that was to become the basis for the retail vertical market software industry itself.

Mosher also pioneered the application framework for the rapid development of any kind of application-specific virtual interface with a touchscreen GUI. The practical effect of this was that the software programmers no longer needed to control or even develop the graphical user interfaces that the customers would be using because the users themselves were given tools with which to develop their own GUIs.

His later work involved making use of the X Window System as a means of making it possible for people to join in large collaborative work groups and to use the software without the need for a local computer.

Gene Mosher never applied for any patents or received any royalties for his pioneering innovations. The large body of GUI accomplishments credited to him since 1985 has formed a substantial basis of prior art, placing many aspects of GUI development above the restrictions of patents that would otherwise have the effect of impeding the free and rapid development of GUIs.

Mosher continues to work in this field at ViewTouch, Eugene, Oregon, the company he founded to advance his work.

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