Simple Multi-Touch Toolkit


Erik Paluka, Zachary Cook, Mark Hancock, Christopher Collins


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 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


Download Link:  SMT

The toolkit source, wiki, and issues page are available from

Documentation is available from


  • 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.
    [Bibtex] [PDF]
      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.
    [Bibtex] [PDF]
    author = {Zachary Cook},
    title = {The Simple Multi-Touch Toolkit},
    venue = {UOIT Student Research Showcase},
    year = 2013
  • E. Paluka, “Simple Multi-Touch: A framework for teaching multi-touch computing,” UOIT Student Research Showcase, 2011.
    [Bibtex] [PDF]
    author = {Erik Paluka},
    title = {Simple Multi-Touch: A framework for teaching multi-touch computing},
    venue = {UOIT Student Research Showcase},
    year = 2011




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