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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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  • terrin

    can u plz tell me which which software to install in a squence

  • Thank you so much for this, I could make the box and make it work, but here’s my question. While I’m using the pad the computer registers my movements as if I’m constantly holding the right mouse button. Is there a way to make the pad difference when I just want to move the mouse around and when I want to click?

    • It depends which mouse driver you’re using. There’s a few of them and I believe some behave like this. If you need more help, I recommend visiting http://nuigroup.com/forums


    MR. SETH SANDLER PLEASE HELP ME SIR the program cannot start because MSVCP71.dll is missing SIR PLEASE TELL ME WHAT I DO TO FIX THIS PROBLEM

  • naeem

    excuse is it necessary to download whole 3 mouse driver software ? or nly the required 1?

    • You only need one. However, each one has different features. So you can try them all and see which you like best.

  • John Monico

    Whenever I try to start the program it give me and error “The program can’t start because MSVCP71.dll is missing from your computer. Try re installing the program to fix this problem” What should I do? Or how do I get this .dll?

  • Iago Daghetty

    Hey Set sandler, my multitouch did not work. Please, talke me more about the camera, and sofftware

  • Thiago

    Hey seth, talk more about the posicion of components. Sorry for the bad english, im brasilian 🙂

  • Janek

    can I use digital camera to make MTmini?

    • Digital cameras usually won’t work. The computer will not let them stream live.

  • StepingWize

    How I wish you and Johnny chung lee where my Brothers………

  • StepingWize

    I’ve downloaded all software ..but it does not control the windows and all rest…help pls :/ 🙁

  • Unnat Bansal

    When Starting CCV I get a message saying that a .dll file is missing after i fixed that I Get the following message -“The application was unable to start correctly (0xc0150002). Click OK to close the application.” Pllease Help

  • adlavg

    hi i want to do but I have MTbiggie an infrared camera

    I do?

  • mymsn

    i have all the equipment ready..but i dint understand how to go with the software?can u tell me how to work with the softwares pls? thanks in advance

  • Kevin

    Can you please tell me how to use the Demo apps ( fire , ripples etc) , when I open it using macromedia flash , it just shows the picture but nothing moves !( the physics and fire demo just shows a blank screen)
    And also my cursor moves with lags and goes extremely fast ! And can u tell me how to click items ?

  • Anuj

    my setup is ready but when i calibrate all crosses are achieved but it do not show any result,i don’t what’s wrong can u help me out with that? And yeah how are you controlling mouse what additional software i need (i am using a win7 laptop so i have probably all software for mouse pad) or it will automatically connect with it?

    • You probably need to re-calibrate again. For mouse software you can try one of the links in “Mouse Driver – for controlling your mouse cursor”. Each one is different and one may work better than another for you. If you need more help, I recommend going to http://NUIGRoup.com/forums.

    • Anuj

      hey thnxx seth i made my own but reduced the cost slighter by not using glass sheet and paper instead i used my old translucent file it works real good check out here: http://youtu.be/Qj3DMcMXwJI and do tell me the feedback!