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17-year old develops multi-touch interface for Mac

updated 04:50 pm EDT, Fri May 2, 2008

Bridger Maxwell multitouch

Bridger Maxwell - a 17-year old from Orem, Utah - is currently developing a home-built multi-touch surface for Mac OS X, using a Frustrated Total Internal Reflection (FTIR) imaging method for a high school science project. Already creating a second incarnation, Maxwell improves on his previous design by using brighter LEDs mounted in a wooden frame. He uses an infrared camera to capture finger input, which appears to light up fingertips, when observed.

The design features three sides of the wooden frame with holes drilled for the LEDs to stick through, with the infrared camera mounted underneath. Maxwell used an open source solution called OpenTouch, and built onto it by developing a library to receive "Tangible User Interface Object" messages for Apple's Cocoa platform.

Maxwell also makes use of several Mac OS technologies, such as Core Animation for the overall presentation of the device's front-end.

by MacNN Staff





  1. dliup

    Joined: Dec 1969


    cool story

    Wow, cool read. That will be a tough science project to beat...

  1. Glasspusher

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy

  1. themacjedicali

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Its funny how the older generations emphasize "17 year old" fill in the blank. Back in the day no one invented things at a young age because they didnt have such a vast and readily available thing as the internet. This will be the way things are more and more as time rolls on, since anyone can research and build things that before would have taken months in a library or an MIT degree to accomplish. GO Go gadget submit button!...

  1. Loren

    Joined: Dec 1969


    go west, young max

    I'm guessing Apple will snap up this fellow right away.

  1. Guest

    Joined: Dec 1969


    multi touch

    Multi touch (Mac or otherwise) will not reach it's full potential until it's combined with a full featured voice recognition component.


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