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Multi-touch possibilities

March 2, 2007

Sure Apple is planning some interesting things with multi-touch for iPhone, but just how far could the technology be taken?

Check out this demonstration from NYU spin-off Perceptive Pixel for a glimpse of the possibilities:

and here’s a video of Perceptive Pixel founder Jeff Han premiering his multi-touch tech at TED in February 2006:

I wonder if Apple’s patent team licensed any of Perceptive Pixel’s work? It appears that Apple has talked with Mr. Han, but I’m not sure if anything other than words has changed hands(?). Anyone with the inside skinny, please speak up.

I’m also wondering how many points-of-contact (POCs) iPhone will be able to register simultaneously. Steve Jobs showed two POCs during his keynote as he pinched and stretched things, but I don’t recall seeing three or more at once. Jeff Han meanwhile illustrated using several fingers from both hands during his TED talk, admittedly on a much larger touchscreen than the iPhone’s. I could see more than two POCs getting really tricky on the limited real estate of a mobile phone screen.

[Thanks to for bringing the Perceptive Pixel videos to my attention]


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  1. Darreb permalink

    Hello I really enjoyed your videos. There is a possibility for up to 15 simultaneous touches on the iPhone screen.

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