Multi-touch screens

by Ingenious
Mar 26, 2017
Toronto, Ontario
Image of a blank touch-screen tablet
Multi-touch screen – OmniArt/

The pinch and the zoom.

Innovators had the idea for multi-touch screens in their minds and down on paper for years. The true breakthrough in this technology came in 1982. It occurred at the University of Toronto when members of the school’s Input Research Group actually made the first human-input multi-touch screen. Their screen featured a frosted-glass panel with a camera behind. The camera detected when a finger or fingers were placed on the panel and registered these input points as black spots on a white background. This practical application of plural-point awareness released a cascade of further research and design. It was first most evident in the movies and TV shows we watched. Now it’s a fixture on our mobile digital devices, as we pinch and zoom into the future.


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