Multitouch

We all are familiar with touch technology. Today it is very popular in many devices such as mobile phones, tabs and other newer technologies. But have you heard about multitouch technology. Touch sensing usually used for single point contact; while multitouch sensing helps the user to interact with the system with more than one finger simultaneously.

Multitouch interaction may be a special case of multimodal interaction, that’s interaction that involves many input means that at the same time. Here, the several inputs suggest that are typically the users’ fingers or other parts of their hands. Multitouch interactions are imagined and even studied decades ago. However only recent hardware and algorithmic developments have created it a reality for the rest of us.

Multi-touch interaction in this case refers to human interaction with a computer where more than one finger may be used to give input at a time. The advantages of this are that the multi touch interaction is extremely natural. And it inherently provides support for simultaneous multi user input. There are many promising technologies that are being developed for multi-touch.

The two main varieties currently are:what is multitouch inteaction11
  • Capacitive sensing.
  • Frustrated Total Internal Reflection (FTIR).

Both of these technologies are implemented successfully, and each has the chance of being used in smaller consumer devices like desktop workstation screens and mobile phones. Multi-touch screens introduce new possibilities for interaction. Gesture systems based on multi-touch are developed, as well as multipurpose systems. These systems haven\’t been comprehensively tested on users.

While the concept of multi-touch has been around for several years, recent implementations provide a glimpse of how it may soon become much more common in day to day life. There’s a variety of technology being leveraged to support multi-touch. And research into the new types of user interaction it can give.

Multitouch interaction styles: like for single an entire interaction (even more, actually), there’s a full continuum of potential interaction designs with multitouch devices.

However, most demos published within the last years fit in one of the 3 following categories, or are combinations of them:
  • Multitouch gestures: you perform gestures with one, 2 or more fingers and also the gestures are mapped onto commands (low-level like click or double-click, high-level like zoom, pan, etc). Variety of patents are filed involving the utilization of such gestures.
  • Multipoint interaction: just as if you had many mice, you’ll point at several objects at the same time, drag many windows, or resize a window by selecting 2 corners at the same time.
  • Physical interaction: the contact surfaces are accustomed interact with the contents of the screen. You’ll be able to scoop objects between your 2 hands, for instance.

Many technologies are utilized in small scale prototype implementations however few have created it into commercial success. Some of them that have are the Mitsubishi Diamond touch, Microsoft Surface and also the Apple iPhone. These technologies come around several current promising techniques. The usability of such screens has not been thoroughly empirically tested; however developers have anecdotal proof to support their claims. Multi-touch has applications in military applications, small cluster collaboration, accessibility for individuals with disabilities and modeling applications.

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