The Linux MPX Multi-Touch table may not be as sexy as Microsoft’s Surface, but it does show the huge advancements being made in penguin-land. MPX (or Multi-Pointer X) is a modification of the X Windows Server that allows multiple input devices to be used at the same time. All you need to make it work is a normal computer, a keyboard and a mouse. This system will let multiple users work together on an application at the same time. The software is still under development, and the developer states that there are (of course) still bugs and kinks to be worked out. However, this video gives you an excellent insight as to what you can expect in the future.
Important to note: DiamondTouch is completely different that Microsoft TouchLight. Yet the end result is actually a better thing for all of us. DiamondTouch will recognize four different unique people. Surface allows multiple users to interact, but doesn’t recognize them (yet) as separate people. Therefore, the MPX is a large step ahead of Microsoft in this department.
Peter Hutterer, PhD Student Wearable Computers Lab at the University of South Australia and MPX developer, granted an interview with Gizmodo recently. Peter discussed the technology more in-depth and explained many of the features (and bugs) that exist.
This is definitely something to keep your eye on as development progresses. It will be interesting to watch how it evolves.