Innovation, Lifestyle, Technology

How Does Multi-Touch Technology Work?

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table top multi touch technology

A table top touch screen used for multi user gaming. Image by Daniel Williams on Flickr

Many tablets and smartphones now have multi touch capabilities but what is it and what benefits does it offer to previous forms of technology?

Multi Touch – What is it?

Multi Touch is a different technology to that seen in single touch devices as it only requires a single finger to move objects around and slide the screen. Where multi touch differs is the fact that it accepts a number of touches in different areas and this means that devices can respond to more than one touch.

It works by using a grid that makes it possible for the device to understand where the screen is being touched. There are high levels of accuracy because it can identify a number of intersection points. A multi touch screen that has multi touch awareness will come with a higher level of functionality when compared with that of a single touch screen. One example of how multi touch works is the punch to zoom that comes with many devices.

What are the benefits?

It has already been mentioned that multi touch increases the functionality that many devices can support. If the correct software is used, then multi touch will make it possible for users to use two fingers to zoom in and out as well as make it possible to return the screen back to scale. Many industrial applications benefit from multi touch especially where safety is concerned.

Many industrial applications can have their security enhanced because of multi touch. Using both hands to communicate with the touch screen can make carrying out certain processes difficult but using more than three touch points can make it possible to include gestures.

When it comes to creating ways in which devices can be unlocked to improve safety, multi touch offers a higher level of creativity because it provides a number of possibilities and better security. It can be used to enter a room where keyless entry is installed while a secret handshake can now be used on multi touch screens to unlock a room. In fact, certain gestures on a touch screen display can replace the need for a password.

Multi touch is also ideal for building automation. Some buildings are so large that a floorplan can take up the whole of a display and this can often make details difficult to read. For visitors trying to find their way around, often a simple overview is enough but those who require further details, having the ability to touch the screen and pinch to zoom can make it easier to find what they want.

This is a feature that can be used in a number of ways but it certainly makes life easier for users as it makes them possible to move around devices and view content in different ways. It has already been mentioned that multi touch is now commonly seen in smartphones and tablets but industrial applications are not benefitting in the way that they should be. This means that things should change in the very near future.

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Peter Scully

Marketing Director at SF Media
Keen author and blogger. Peter writes on a number of topics he has a personal interest in, including brand promotion, marketing, social media, online marketing and small business advertising.
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