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Microsoft demos simultaneous pen and finger multi-touch

updated 10:30 am EDT, Fri April 9, 2010

MS Manual Deskterity project appears

Microsoft has quietly shown off a new touchscreen implementation that could potentially close the gap between stylus and finger input. Manual Deskterity uses the same multi-touch technology as Surface but with a special infrared stylus and a custom drawing app that recognizes both fingers and the pen at once. At a virtual work desk, the user could not only pan around with fingers but use them to hold photos and perform a second function with the pen, such as cutting out a segment of an image, copying it or using it as a stencil.

The approach is a Microsoft Research project and won't necessarily translate to finished products. Since many tablets and touchscreen computers already support both finger and touch input, however, Manual Deskterity has a possibility of being added solely through software or of guiding the future design of touchscreen tablets.

The in-development Courier tablet may be a prime candidate as it should support both finger and stylus control, although it hasn't been demonstrated using both input methods at the same time. [via istartedsomething]

by MacNN Staff



  1. Zaren

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Every once in a while...

    Microsoft comes up with something good. Some of the ideas in this are actually pretty cool. I give it a thumbs up.

  1. dliup

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Can you say


  1. Eldernorm

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Looks like it works but has not been released

    Not laptop, but big assed table.! :-) A little confusing as to which tool does what but nice to see that MS is trying to move forward.

    Just a thought,


    Joined: Dec 1969


    Manual Deskterity

    Sounds like a disease to me.

  1. wrenchy

    Joined: Dec 1969


    @ Can you say

    > VAPORWARE...

    Yeah like the iPad... Oh wait. Nevermind.

  1. russellb

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Great BUT Vaporware

    Microsoft STOP showing us years of bloody surface demos etc ... come out with an actual product.

    The demo looks fantastic , but you know when I think of all the surface demos I have seen all I ever see if photo's being dragged about, the addition of a pen is great

    BUT until it turns into a robust GUI with great apps etc it's just vaporware.

    Now if Apple would just bring back the handwriting that they used to have on the newton

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