Introduction to Multi-Touch
The multi-touch interface allows a user to interact with an application or system using more than one finger at a time, as in chording and bi-manual operations. In addition to multiple touches, such sensing devices can also accommodate multiple users simultaneously, which is especially useful for larger shared-display systems such as interactive walls and tabletops.
By transferring the interface from a physical device (such as a mouse, pointer or joystick) to a programmable virtual environment, the interaction between user and application can adapt to the user as opposed to the other way around. To paraphrase Bill Buxton from Multi-Touch Systems that I Have Known and Loved, the multi-touch interface has the potential to become a kind of chameleon that provides a single device that can transform itself into whatever interface that is appropriate for the specific task at hand.
The application of multi-touch in concert with gesture recognition has taken off in recent years largely due to the increase in computation power available from commodity computing. RENCI has recognized an opportunity to develop its own in-house expertise in multi-touch and gesture recognition technology as a powerful tool for allowing scientists and researchers to collaboratively interact with large high resolution data sets.