Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical.


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 ?
The sensitive trackpad supports multitouch gestures, and the keyboard's indented keys invite more-accurate typing.
Known as Command and Control Multitouch Enabled Technology (COMET), the effort aims to make face-to-face collaboration more productive and interactive.
Using SMART's patented DViTAO (Digital Vision Touch) technology, both the interactive whiteboard system and the interactive display deliver an exceptional touch experience that supports multitouch, multiuser writing and object awareness,.
Martello initially considered creating its own multitouch tables but then Microsoft stepped forward with its Surface Silverlight-enabled multitouch computer, which could act as both an access point and a store for digitised images and their accompanying metadata.
Popular single touch, gesture touch and multitouch applications include casino gaming, retail point of sale, foodservice, hospitality, self-service, industrial, healthcare and interactive digital signage.
Officially, though, Nokia has not said a word about dual SIM phones in its vision for 2010, a document in which it said it will concentrate on a next- generation operating system and integration of multitouch support for its phones.
In April, Taiwan-based Elan Microelectronics accused Apple of infringing two of its patents in the iPhone's multitouch technology .
Lenovo said it is bringing business users a new way to work with multitouch screen technology on its ThinkPad X200 Tablet PC and ThinkPad T400s laptop.
High-speed multitouch Internet browsing, keyboard-powered messaging, GPS capability and options to shuffle program windows like playing cards make it the schizophrenic's smartphone of choice.
In this world of multitouch mobiles, DECT phones are in danger of extinction.
But the real joy comes with its multitouch screen and wireless keyboard which give rival, the Apple iMac, a real run for its money.