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capabilities, as well as detailed support and documentation helping to build the application. A fast and effective way to begin full multi-touch software development without the delays and risk associated with developing prototype hardware is to use a turnkey full multi-touch touchscreen such as the M2256PW developed by diversified technology company 3M. The 3M Display M2256PW is a 22-inch multi-touch LCD unit, which supports up to 20 simultaneous touch inputs and allows the screen to be positioned horizontally or vertically; an important capability in the era of true multi-touch applications. It is delivered as a complete shippable unit suitable for direct connection to a PC. ISVs using this touchscreen can also access web-based support from 3M including a comprehensive Application Programming Interface (API), firmware updates, technical support and a hosted developer forum.

The hardware provided takes into account the special requirements of

multi-touch applications. The touchscreen uses 3M Projected Capacitive Technology, which has proven multi-touch-detection capabilities and provides a robust, scratch-resistant solution. This is important to withstand the rigours of anticipated applications across consumer, education and professional sectors. Also, for fast, accurate touch response over the entire touchscreen surface, the hardware has response time of less than 6ms for 20 touches. This represents a significant improvement over the industry-benchmark for touchscreen response, which stood at 20ms as little as six months ago. The controller builds in solutions to significant electronic design challenges to detect 20 or more touches that can occur anywhere on the surface of a large desktop display.

In the future, further new applications for full multi-touch – such as

large-format gaming and gambling systems – are anticipated. These will demand hardware capable of high-speed response and accurate, reliable touch detection, which present significant challenges when using large screen sizes.

The increasing performance of the latest full-multi-touch touchscreen

hardware platforms, combined with the arrival of Windows 7 featuring multi-touch-ready capabilities, are good news for ISVs; proving the time is right to reach beyond two-touch gestures and deliver full multi-touch experiences to waiting markets. SEPTEMBER 2010 31 PLAY

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