FingerWorks - Inventor and Developer of MultiTouch Technology

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Proximity Sensor Array

The heart of FngerWorks' patented MultiTouch technology is a unique, 2-dimensional proximity sensor array that produces images of fingers and hands near or touching its surface. Accompanying software then recognizes and tracks all the fingers and hands moving on the surface.

Traditional touchpad and touchscreen sensing technologies, in comparison, can only track motions of a single finger, and become confused if more than one finger ever touches. This means these old technologies don't let the fingers work together as a whole hand, as the fingers naturally do with all other handheld tools. Also, traditional touchpads don't spread the workload evenly amongst the fingers the way MultiTouch does, to avoid repetitive stress on one finger.

FingerWorks products include a low-power on-board microprocessor whose first job is to collect and process image data from the MultiTouch sensing surface. It then recognizes, tracks, and interprets finger and hand motion, ultimately generating mouse or key sequences for the host computer's USB port. All FingerWorks products emulate standard USB keyboard & USB mouse, so they simply plug & play on Windows, Mac OS, Linux, and newer Unix operating systems.

Rich Gesture Capability

MultiTouch technology used as a computer input device provides many new capabilities and benefits. It gives the computer user much more control of graphical and text objects while providing the same functionality of the keyboard and mouse. MultiTouch also eliminates the need to reach for a mouse by providing an interface that enables normal typing and mouse operations over its entire surface. Pointing, gestures, and keys are always available right under the fingers, minimizing wasteful hand motion:

  • Touching 1 finger at a time is recognized as a keystroke command.
  • Simultaneously dropping two fingertips on the surface initiates pointing.
  • Simultaneous thumb and fingertip motions become gesture commands.

MultiTouch can receive and interpret input anywhere on its surface. Operations like copy, cut, paste, save, open, close, scroll, zoom, pan and a host of other multi-key commands are all done with simple, easy-to-repeat, and easy-to-learn gestures.

The number of gestures that MultiTouch recognizes is quite large. Hand translation, rotation, scaling, and wobble motions provide about 12 unique gestures for each finger combination (chord). Since MultiTouch distinguishes about a dozen chords per hand, FingerWorks products can recognize over a hundred simple gestures per hand! Sound like a lot to memorize? Most people just learn the gestures for the commands they need often. Also, each group of gestures is easily learned as a chunk (rather than memorizing one gesture at a time) because gestures with complementary motions invoke complementary, intuitively related commands. e.g., Undo & Redo are learned as one, reversible motion.

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