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Commanding a computer, smartphone or tablet via a touchscreen or touchpad by using more than one finger. A multitouch display is sensitive to gestures, which are predefined motions that perform an action such as rotating an object.

Apple popularized multitouch in its iPhone and iPod touch, especially for zooming in and out of screen images, known as "pinch-to-zoom." Expanding a photo by sliding thumb and forefinger apart and pinching them together to restore the original size was greeted with delight when people first saw that feature.

Sensing Deflected Light
Most multitouch devices use capacitive screens that depend on a user's finger to draw current (see touchscreen). However, Microsoft's tablet top computer (see image below) and the large wall-mounted screens seen on TV use deflected light. For example, the CNN "Magic Wall" election map that enables journalists to track American political candidates state by state is a multitouch panel from Perceptive Pixel. These displays project images onto acrylic screens along with near-infrared or infrared light from one or more LED light sources. When fingers touch the screen, the light is deflected, and sensors pick up the changes. See touch scroll, Magic Mouse and gesture recognition.

An Electronic Light Table
Introduced in 2008, Microsoft's multitouch Surface computer let people manipulate objects more like the real world. In this light table example, photos are moved around as if they were printed on paper, but can also be resized. See PixelSense. (Image courtesy of Microsoft Corporation.)
References in periodicals archive ?
Corning Incorporated and Atmel Corporation, a leader in microcontroller and touch technology solutions, today announced they are collaborating to develop ultra-thin capacitive touchscreens with superior multi-touch performance for next-generation applications.
TW), a company that enables digital multimedia on PCs and CEs, and NextWindow, a designer and developer of optical touch screen technology, have announced that they are in collaboration to develop multi-touch optimised solutions for PCs.
STOCKHOLM -- FlatFrog Laboratories AB, the Swedish developer of world leading multi-touch technology, announced today the commercial availability of its first product, the FlatFrog Multitouch 3200.
AIS), a leader in HMI multi-touch displays, panel PC and operator interface technologies has announced the addition of their new PoE multi-touch conference room scheduling system.
TELECOMWORLDWIRE-28 May 2008-Microsoft's next Windows OS to include multi-touch features(C)1994-2008 M2 COMMUNICATIONS LTD http://www.
Includes Single Chip, Precise Active Pen with New Features, and User Interface that Allows for Simultaneous Pen and Multi-Touch Input
3 introduces a virtual multi-touch user interface, supports additional devices and platforms, and provides enhanced networking capabilities enabling developers to virtualize modern post-PC era operating system features while maintaining compatibility with legacy operating systems.
TELECOMWORLDWIRE-10 January 2007-Apple unveils new iPhone with multi-touch keyboard technology(C)1994-2007 M2 COMMUNICATIONS LTD http://www.
New 24" and 27" 3M multi-touch displays deliver high performance multi-touch functionality to professional and commercial applications -
equipment area plumbing-heating-air conditioning and construction: 2x touch screen 55 " screen multi-touch board, Contemporary teaching.
1 Oreo update bug that's plaguing multi-touch when they are playing games.
Newly released, the XV-300 operator interface provides complete control using an intuitive multi-touch touchscreen, logic, integrated supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) software.

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