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Simple Multi-Touch Toolkit

While multi-touch computing becomes more common, there comes a requirement for students to learn how to create software for multi-touch environments.  Although there are many powerful toolkits that exist already, they require a strong programming background and thus become difficult to integrate into fast-paced human-computer interaction (HCI) courses or for non-CS students to use.  Researchers at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT) and the University of Waterloo (UW) have developed a toolkit with a simplified API called the Simple Multi-Touch Toolkit (SMT).

Based around the concept of touch-enabled zones, SMT is built as a library for the popular processing platform or as a standalone Java library.  By integrating with Processing’s simplified syntax, SMT makes prototyping multi-touch applications fast and easy.   SMT natively supports TUIO and works on Windows Touch but also provides a multi-touch simulator to support non-touch enabled environments.  While SMT was designed to support students and used in undergraduate HCI courses at both UOIT and UW in experimenting with multi-touch input, SurfNet researchers have also used SMT to develop several applications.

The project’s main website is located here at

Check out our GitHub Repository for source code related to this project.


  • K. Sikes, Z. Cook, E. Paluka, M. Hancock, and C. Collins, “The Simple Multi-Touch Toolkit,” in SurfNet: Designing Digital Surface Applications, F. Maurer, Ed., Calgary: NSERC SurfNet, 2016, pp. 256-273.


    author = {Kalev Sikes and Zachary Cook and Erik Paluka and Mark Hancock and Christopher Collins},
    title = {The Simple Multi-Touch Toolkit},
    editor = {Frank Maurer},
    booktitle = {SurfNet: Designing Digital Surface Applications},
    publisher = {NSERC SurfNet},
    address = {Calgary},
    year = 2016,
    pages = {256–273}

  • Z. Cook, “The Simple Multi-Touch Toolkit,” UOIT Student Research Showcase, 2013.


    author = {Zachary Cook},
    title = {The Simple Multi-Touch Toolkit},
    booktitle = {UOIT Student Research Showcase},
    year = 2013

  • E. Paluka, “Simple Multi-Touch: A framework for teaching multi-touch computing,” UOIT Student Research Showcase, 2011.


    author = {Erik Paluka},
    title = {Simple Multi-Touch: A framework for teaching multi-touch computing},
    booktitle = {UOIT Student Research Showcase},
    year = 2011