Amazing Multi-Touch Screen

One of the more interesting developments of 2006 is multi-touch interaction display technology. This multi-point, multi-user display technology was developed by Jefferson Y. Han and his team at the New York University (NYU) Media Research Lab. From typing on an on-screen keyboard that can be sized to fit the user’s hands to manipulating lava lamp formations to reorienting numerous objects with multiple fingers simultaneously to expanding or reducing objects with the fingers – all on the display screen – this technology enables it.

Originally developed during the 1970s and 1980s, touch screen technology is still used as a single point of contact technology. Multi-touch sensing enables one or several users to interact with a computerized system with more than one finger at a time. 

In their original implementation, the NYU team used a 36" x 27" rear-projection display with a sensing resolution of over 0.1" at 50 Hz. Larger implementations are also possible and a 16 ft. wall of multi-touch technology was constructed for the 2006 Siggraph exhibition. Multi-touch technology has many potential applications including a whole new way of interfacing with computers in general and with images, videos, animations, maps, and, needless to say, games. 

The research team claims that the next step will be to try different formats – both larger and smaller multi-touch screens – and perhaps to program the system to identify the finger being used. 

The first video displaying some of the capabilities of the multi-touch technology was filmed at the Technology Entertainment Design conference in February 2006. More information, images, and a second video can be found on the NYU Media Research Lab Multi-Touch Interaction Research webpage.

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