Tagged With multi-touch

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We've learned to be highly suspicious that the GPS, camera and microphone in our smartphones can be used to track our every move, listen into our conversations and watch our most intimate moments. But what about the act of tapping and swiping our screens? Can that be used by a bad actor? Researchers from CSIRO's Data 61 have found just that.

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Most of the multi-touch gestures available to iPhone and Apple laptop owners don't require anything special, hardware-wise—except a patent licence from Apple. Linux users, however, can get some of that multi-finger goodness in three quick steps.

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Windows only: Microsoft Office Labs has released an open source multi-touch application framework called Touchless that uses your webcam as the input. Right now the Touchless Demo lets you play with four proof-of-concept ideas: Draw, Image, Snake, and Defend. The first is a free-form drawing application, while Image is an image manipulation utility that allows you to zoom in or out and move around on a map with marker gestures. The other two are games (Snake is exactly like the classic, and Defend is up to four-person Pong). To set up a marker that Touchless tracks, just grab something colorful, click Add A New Marker, then draw a circle around the object. From there on out, Touchless will monitor that marker wherever it is in the shot. Right now the application is a little clunky, but as a proof-of-concept it's not bad (and it's fun to play with). Before long multi-touch may not be limited to people who can afford several thousand dollar equipment, after all.

Touchless