Tagged With multi-touch

Predicting the future is near impossible -- but that doesn‘t stop us all from having a red hot go. Human beings have been predicting the future since the beginning of history and the results range from the hilarious to the downright uncanny.

One thing all future predictions have in common: they‘re rooted in our current understanding of how the world works. It‘s difficult to escape that mindset. We have no idea how technology will evolve, so our ideas are connected to the technology of today.

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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