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What is Multi-touch?

Multi-touchThe term "multi-touch" is now in common use to describe any touch screen that can recognise more than one point of contact; in effect the use of two or more fingers simultaneously.

However, there are now several different types of multi-touch, depending on the touch technology employed. Below is an explanation of the different types of touch available which also acts as a guide for the terms we use for describing the touch screens we supply.

Single Touch

Single Touch Single Touch occurs when a finger or stylus creates a touch event on the surface of a touch sensor or within a touch field so it is detected by the touch controller and the application can determine the X,Y coordinates of the touch event.

These technologies have been integrated into millions of devices and typically do not have the ability to detect or resolve more than a single touch point at a time as part of their standard configuration.

Single Touch with Pen Input

Single Touch with Pen InputSingle Touch with Pen input functionality can range from a simple, inactive pointer or stylus to complex, active tethered pens.

Inactive pens enable the same input characteristics as a finger, but with greater pointing accuracy, while sophisticated, active pens can provide more control and uses for the touch system with drawing and palm rejection capabilities, and mouse event capabilities.

Single Touch with Gesture

Two Touch (2-point)Enhancements to firmware, software and hardware by many single touch technologies have increased their touch functionality. Some touch technologies can use advanced processing capabilities to "detect" or recognize that a second touch event is occurring, which is called a "gesture event".

Since single touch systems can´t resolve the exact location of the second touch event, they rely on algorithms to interpret or anticipate the intended gesture event input. Common industry terms for this functionality are two-finger gestures, dual touch, dual control, and gesture touch.

Read more about Touch Gestures.

Two Touch (2-point)

Two Touch (2-point)Two Touch refers to a touch system that can detect and resolve two discrete, simultaneous touch events.

The best demonstration of Two Touch capability is to draw two parallel lines on the screen at the same time. Two Touch systems can also support gesturing.


Multi-touchMulti-touch refers to a touch system´s ability to simultaneously detect and resolve a minimum of 3+ touch points. All 3 or more touches are detected and fully resolved resulting in a dramatically improved touch experience.

Multi-touch is considered by many to become a widely-used interface mainly because of the speed, efficiency and intuitiveness of the technology.

Programming for Multi-Touch

Multi-Touch Applications
Operating systems such as Windows, Linux and Mac are designed to expect only a single mouse-down instruction. To run applications that can work with two or more points it is necessary to programme using a multi-touch software development kit.

Touchtech Lima is a premium multi-touch software solution. It is designed for multi-touch table and wall displays to create interactive presentations using your existing files (pictures, videos, and documents etc).

NUITEQ´s multitouch software product Snowflake Suite offers customizable content, fast performance, stability and quality. A wide range of apps, an API and SDK are included in this industry leading, award-winning "off the shelf" product, allowing even software developers to create their own multitouch software applications.

MultiTouch pack from Aduma is all about engaging touch presentations. It is used across a variety of markets whenever there is a need to captivate and engage an audience.

Omnitapps Multi Touch Suite is the fully customizable (multi) touch application suite. It offers a collection of applications that offers you a unique way to present your products or services.

IntuiFace from Intuilab allows you to build gorgeous, highly functional applications for any audience and interact with them using mobile devices, multi-touch displays, remote gesture hardware like Microsoft Kinect and Leap Motion, RFID/NFC tag readers or your own custom input methods.
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