Multi Touch Technology - How it Works


14-07-2017 - Multi Touch can be found in today's smartphones and tablets. But what benefits does multi offer compared to single touch? And how does it work?

What is Multi Touch?

Multi touch technology is the opposite of single touch technology. With single touch input users can only use a single finger or stylus to point, drag and drop and slide. Multi touch input on the other hand can register touches at multiple locations. This enables devices to recognize and respond to more than one touch at the same time.

Multi Touch Technology

Multi touch touch screens use a grid to locate where the screen is being touched. The device is highly accurate because it senses groups of intersection points instead of just one. The multi touch point awareness of a multi touch screen offers extra functionality compared to single touch screen technology. Pinch to zoom is an example of a feature that works only with multi touch and not with single touch.

[Compare other Touch Screen Technologies and How they Work]

The Benefits of Multi Touch vs. Single Touch

As described above - multi touch expands the range of functionality devices can support. Using the right software, multi touch screens allow users to use two fingers to zoom in and out or to rescale the display. Many industrial applications benefit from multi touch. The power of multi touch for these industrial applications becomes clear when you think about safety.

Security of industrial applications can be improved with multi touch. Requiring both of the user's hands to touch the screen before beginning a proces adds an extra difficulty. Even three or more touch points can be used to include 'gestures'.

Companies can be really creative when creating an unlocking procedure to improve safety. Multi touch adds to the variety of possibilities and ensures higher quality security.

An example of using multi touch for security purposes is securing keyless entry to a room. A secret handshake on the multi touch screen can now be the key to unlocking this room.

Different security paradigms can be combined to implement a high level of security. For example, unique gestures on the touch screen display can serve as the new password.

Another great example of using multi touch is building automation. Imagine the building is so big that when the floor plan fills a display, the details are too small to read. A simple overview of the building is sufficient for visitors trying to find their way around. But for other people needing more detail, an overview floor plan is not enough. These users can touch the screen and zoom in quickly and easily to find what they are looking for.

Think about a visitor who is looking for an electric output for their phone. An otherwise manual zooming process is simplified by multi touch. The visitor can quickly find the right power outlet on the overview.


Nowadays multi touch technology can be found in our beloved smartphones and tablets. But industrial applications are not nearly benefiting enough from this multi purpose touch technology.