Multitouch in the Prime Time

Featured above is a table out of New Jersey, USA. The Dialog Table is a shared interface where you use hand gestures to discover more about the artworks at the Walker Art Center.  This table has a very unique design, and this is all due to works of a group named kinecity.

From multitouch devices being featured on CNN to the iPhone craze, multimodal input is officially hitting public minds. In return many more applications will arise out of undiscovered necessities. Such as the image manipulation video below. (Note: I have not yet researched this project but it came from this school)

And now with Apple implementing more gesture driven functions into their products such as the Fingerwork’s MacNTouch. Keyboards which integrate the functions of a large touchpad, gesture input, and a zero force ergonomic keyboard, all on the same surface. Apple acquired Fingerworks in the beginning of 2006 which can explain some of their touchscreen ambitions. Thus their upcoming product line should be very interesting with already so many gesture patents and touch screen patents.

While I won’t claim to understand Apple’s multi-touch systems, it seems to use a multi-layered version of conventional touch screen technology which makes it able to detect multiple touch locations. This is compared to the FTIR and computer vision approach, which is not suited for portable computing applications. And, quite frankly, this is probably the most important implementation of such an interface.

Also take note of the other sensors that Apple has already included in their products, such as accelerometers. The renown Daniel Shiffman offers a processing library which is a native interface that allows access to the Apple Sudden Motion Sensor available in Powerbooks (and Macbooks) since 2005. Thanks to v3ga for the video above, you can get the source for that application off his website.

As for the community whitenoise has released the long awaited TUIO (pdf) version of touchLib, which you can get in both compiled binaries and the source from the SVN. The community thanks whitenoise for all his hard work, it aids in community growth and does not go unrecognized.

Look forward to my next post, titled “Multimodal in the Browser”, and thanks to Pixel Sumo, for featuring the community in his latest multi touch post.


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