Multi-touch videos catch on


In the last two weeks, since Seth Sandler uploaded his video showing how to make a multi-touch box, people have played it over 350,000 times. That’s 350,000 plays in 14 days–roughly 25,000 a day. At half this rate over the next few weeks I wouldn’t be surprised to see this video go over 500,000. This speaks volumes about the degree to which people are interested in new interaction technologies. Although the keyboard is going to be central to how they will be using computers for a long time, people want more.

The strong interest in Jeff Han’s multi-touch work, Microsoft’s Surface initiative, and homebrew multi-touch efforts like Seth’s all reflect this.

I had a blast building a multi-touch box and am now on the way to constructing a full-sized multi-touch system. Others on YouTube have been posting their successes too.

By the way, I agree with the Interactive Multimedia Technology blog: “Hint for high school teachers: This sort of thing would be a great project for an after-school technology club!”


Here are a couple other recent homebrew multi-touch efforts, several of which follow Seth’s multi-touch box recipe:

Front projection touch test by SkeeeTouch

A projectionless, multi-touch box by jpcancio

Multi-touch box by PatukyHC

Barecelona multi-touch demo.

“A first-rev 720p multi-touch video wall by Obscura (Love the ink in the demo 🙂 ). Here’s the same whiteboard being used to in a two-player Missle Command game. You might remember this large display demo from last summer.

Multi-touch paint using a box

Hhomebrew FTIR multi-touch surface with rear projection

Brad Hayes’ with rear-projection multi-touch

And here are a couple other people that built multi-touch boxes and posted their results.

This homebrew movement is growing fast. It reminds me of the days back in the late 70s with homebrew microcomputers.