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Multitouch Mini (MTmini) – How To

What’s a Multitouch Mini (MTmini)?

A Multitouch Mini, MTmini for short, is a cheap, small, portable multitouch pad. It can be used as a multitouch pad for: drawing, OS navigation, multitouch operation, games, entertainment, experimentation, and more. I created the Multitouch Mini to show people how something that seems complicated or ‘magical’ can be made simply and at low cost.

The MTmini uses the “Front Diffused Illumination” multitouch technique, with normal ambient light (infrared not required or needed) and a normal off-the-shelf webcam (IR filter can still be in place). The MTmini technique is the first step in creating a full multitouch display.

Parts List

  • Box (ie. Cardboard, Plastic, etc)
  • Piece of Clear, Flat Sturdy Material (ie. Glass, acrylic, plexiglas)
  • Paper (ie. printer paper, tracing paper, almost any paper)
  • Webcam (most web cameras will work)
  • Computer (dual core recommended, but not required)
  • Optional:
    • Picture Frame

Total Cost: $5 – $50

How’s it Work and What Conditions are Necessary?

When you place your fingers on the surface, shadows are created where your fingers are placed. The webcam sees these shadows and sends the image to the tracking software which tracks the shadows as they move on the touch surface (paper).

Below is a video demonstrating the view of what the camera is seeing and tracking.


All you need is a room with (at least) some light; a dark room will not work. Even room lighting gives the best results.  Lights shinning from multiple directions onto the multitouch pad gives better results than lights from one direction.

Software and Demo Downloads

Tracking Software Installation and Setup Guide

Want to Build a Multitouch Surface?

See the MTbiggie page to create your first multitouch table!

Need Help?

If you need more help than is provided here, please go to http://nuigroup.com/forums where there are hundreds of other people that are building multitouch devices and can answer your questions quickly.

Other Resources

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  • Anuj

    how do i calibrate ?? actually when i open calibration in CCV i complete all the markers but it don’t show how accurate it is! any idea where i am making mistake?should the projector and camera screen overlap exactly because for MTbiggie i am trying to project via mirror so the projected screen is trapezium any way to make it rectangle? do have any step by step tutorial?? need your help Seth vary badly! plss help man i have spent almost 2 days for this! pls help

    • If the projection is not rectangle, you need to adjust the angle of the mirror and projector to make it rectangle. Then you need to press ‘c’ on CCV to calibrate and follow the instructions on the screen to press all the points. If you need more help, I recommend going to http://NUIGroup.com/forums

    • Anuj

      hey seth, that worked but i am facing second problem i can use flash demos but i don’t how to access windows with it i tried using multi-touch vista and TUIO mouse but they work like mouse-pad(mtmini) I want it to work like if i tap at start,start should open but it is not happening like that i have to move fingers until cursor is on that thing and then tap with second finger! and surprising thing is that in flash demos tap happens where i keep my fingers (it’s perfect!) i have seen guys doing what i want pls help how are they controlling the windows like they do in tablet computers!

    • If you’ve seen people that have it how you’d like, I’d contact them and ask which software / mouse they’re using. There’s many options, so it’s best to ask those people.

  • Vishal

    I want to know how I will touch the screen were there is no display is it like touching as per judgement and other thing I want share is that can’t we fit it on laptop display and work with laptop webcam

    • You can draw points on the paper to help you know where you’re touching. It’s not perfect, but it helps.

  • faiz

    how to work on ccv

  • Sai

    Hi Seth, just out of curiosity, do any modifications need to be made to the webcam? Will any webcam work?

    • Sai

      Also does the thickness of the glass matter? Can I get the glass from a photo frame? Thank you:)

    • The glass can be any thickness as long as it’s sturdy to press on.

    • For the MTmini, no modifications need to be made and it should work with a normal webcam.

  • Alex

    Which webcam would you recommend for this??? ive already used up 3 webcams without any luck… so im low on money :

  • Marcos

    How I install the demos?

  • suhaib kazi

    Listen sir I’m a great fan of urs .my question is that can ur multi touch software track light blobs if yes plz reply. if no then give me a software which can track light blobs and plz see this video and help me
    How to make an acrylic designer touch pad for 15 bucks. sir plz help me by replying I’m trying best to connect to u

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  • Sjeet Maharana

    Hi Seth can you tell me how to explain the mtmini in science fair now

  • Sjeet Maharana

    You can send the explanations to my gmail sjmaharana47 @gmail.com

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  • David Murrey

    Hello seth,

    Really you are great. You created a multi touch device in simple steps. I’m inspired by you and wants to develop some multitouch software. Thank you very much for sharing the product creation video. Keep updating.

  • Truly you are extraordinary. You made a multi touch gadget multi touch gadget in straightforward advances. I’m propelled by you and needs to build up some multitouch programming. Much thanks for sharing the item creation video. Continue refreshing.