Blog Post

Some Background on Apple’s Multi-Touch Tech

I’m still happy that the iPhone sports multi-touch technology. If for nothing else, that’s a huge reason I want to get my hands on (even, all over) an iPhone in June. The way Tom Cruise manages that futuristic computer in Minority Report gets me every single time I watch the movie – and now there’s finally a mainstream way that everyone can do the same sort of thing.

CrunchGear wrote about some of the background on this multi-touch technology that Apple’s so proud of. It looks as if Apple may have purchased the company, FingerWorks, about 2 years ago. I actually had a touch sensitive mouse pad from FingerWorks a few years back. It was pretty sweet, being able to do things on my computer with nothing more than hand gestures – not even a mouse was necessary. Anyway, a few months later the 2 principle brains behind FingerWorks were employed by Apple.

Some may argue that because Apple [allegedly] bought out the company and hired-on the chief engineers of the project, that they didn’t invent the technology as Jobs claimed in his Keynote. I suppose that’s up for interpretation, as I’m sure Apple’s backing has allowed the engineers to do a lot more than they may have been able to before. In fact, with Apple – and clearly Steve – so devoted to this technology, I can’t wait to see what kind of haptic-based controls we’ll get in the future from Apple Inc.

7 Responses to “Some Background on Apple’s Multi-Touch Tech”

  1. It would have to be less squishy than pocket PC’s and such – it isn’t a flip phone, so that enormous, shiny screen is going to be exposed to the elements and all the junk in people’s pockets and purses. A squishy screen would be a disaster!

  2. I remember seeing a short while back, an Apple patent where an extra display was in the wrist rest of a notebook. On the display were the kind of sliders you’d see on an audio mixing desk. The implication was that you could manipulate several sliders at once.

    One other thing — David Pogue mentioned that he tried tapping in the iPhone with his fingernail and nothing happened. This could mean that rather than being pressure sensitive, the multi touch screen senses the conductivity of your fingers; if this is right then the screen could be much much harder and more durable than the squishy screens seen on Pocket PCs and the like.

  3. steve in silv

    After seeing the iPhone demos on, the multi-touch made me think of that scene in The Matrix (#2 I think) where the control room is opening the gates to Zion: translucent screens and keyboards. Very cool.