Tag Archives: multi-touch

Touch Pack for Windows 7 Now Available

The Microsoft Touch Pack for Windows 7 was introduced to the world in May. It’s a series of games and applications designed to help people learn touch gestures in Windows 7. Microsoft announced this week that the pack is now available to download for people who have the proper equipment (Windows 7 and a touch-screen device). According to the comments thread for the announcement there are a lot of people having issues installing and using the Touch Pack.

Users are reporting that they are receiving errors when trying to install. It’s not clear whether they have the proper setup required to run this application or if it’s a problem with the installer itself. Microsoft employee Brandon LeBlanc is doing his best to answer all of the questions being thrown at him. It’s good to see that level of interaction with the people who are using the products the company is putting out.

“The Touch Pack for Windows 7 is a good way for you to be able to truly test the multitouch investments we’ve made in Windows 7. To use these games and programs, you need either a laptop with a screen that supports multitouch or a desktop PC connected to a touchscreen that supports multitouch (including all-in-one PCs with touchscreens).”

Keep in mind that your computer or monitor has to be Multi-touch capable. An older HP TouchSmart, for example, may not be able to utilize this software since it only supports up to two touches… and often only one touch. I know that my assistant Kat is unhappy that she won’t be able to use this herself, since her TouchSmart is now a 2-year-old model. If it worked for her, I’m sure she’d have done a review for us.

If you’re using a multi-touch system with Windows 7, are you going to try this out? If you do, let us know your thoughts. Did it help you to become more well-adjusted when using the various touch features? Does the Touch Pack manage to teach an old dog new tricks?

Linux MPX Multi-Touch Table

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.

What is a Microsoft Courier?

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The first screencast that Joseph did for us was a big hit within the community. It seems you all love his style! I happen to like it quite a bit, as well. It’s different – and it’s fun! Today, Joseph is talking to us about his love of technology, and his reaction to the new Microsoft Courier. What are your thoughts? Feel free to leave a comment with the video, or even make a follow-up screencast of your own!

On paper, Courier looks like it would be an innovative device, with some awesome features. It’s main function will purportedly be a day-planner / notebook that lets you keep track of things like appointments and to-do lists. Also, Courier is supposedly going to be more flexible than the rumored Apple Tablet, in that you can create original drawings and sketches using something like Microsoft Paint. You can use it to snap pictures, take notes, browse the Web, and clip things you want to keep from websites.

In addition, the rumored Courier will have two 7-inch screens, with a flexible hinge in between them. This allows the device to close like a book. The two screens could both accept handwriting from a stylus, or multi-touch input from your fingers. It wouldn’t have a keyboard of any type… it would rely completely on handwriting recognition!

Joe says he recently had a dream that he had a pocket computer that included dual touch-screens. Instead of buttons, the entire face was a multi-touch screen. He felt this was too good to be true, and knew it may just be a dream after all.

However, after hearing about the Microsoft Courier, Joe began to feel that perhaps that dream is coming true. Again, all of the above information about the Courier is based on supposedly leaked rumors. Joe is excited that maybe we will see something like this coming out in the near future. He is keeping his eyes open and his wallet at the ready… just in case!

Thanks, Joe, for an informative – and hilarious! – screencast! Great work!

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