Is there any existing research on dealing with simultaneous gestures on a touchscreen device? More specifically, the challenges and issues with allowing more than one person to interact with a touchscreen device at the same time. Consider a scenario where a touchscreen is mounted between two people, and both try to use it at the same time, e.g. a vehicle's console.

It already seems that I'll have to implement my own gesture-detection library, since the existing libraries I've seen only deal with multi-touch, not simultaneous gestures that each involve multi-touch. (Although I would be happy to be wrong about that.)

At this point, my exploration of the topic is only at the preliminary stage, i.e. pondering the human-factors implications, and wondering if I'll really have to implement my own gesture-detection library just to be able to test the idea.

  • 1
    You can almost certainly avoid implementing your own gesture detection library, but it will be very dependent on your interaction model. It's easy to treat any two fingers that pinch or zoom on a given image as a single gesture without caring if each finger belongs to the same person. Harder for other kinds of input. Look at the work of NUI Group for implementations you can use for testing/prototyping.
    – Kit Grose
    Aug 11, 2015 at 3:27

2 Answers 2


ACM Digital Library (dl.acm.org) is really helpful when doing focused literature review. For more general research you can access Google Scholar search engine. I also recommend a great tool called Mendeley, that keeps track of your research and uploads all your material to the cloud (also generates the citations...)

There are a number of papers on multitouch interaction. I don't know what your topic is about, but here you have some I picked from ACM DL. Check the citations so you can get the most relevant ones. Hope it helps!

Check this (specially the Lego One):

More papers I just found...

  • +1 for referring to ACM. There's a wealth of knowledge there that I've seen getting ignored by many designers. But I will not blame the designers. There's a huge gap between HCI research and field design. Researchers have been working in their own zone while designers have real world targets to meet. There needs to be better coordination between them.
    – Adit Gupta
    Aug 11, 2015 at 4:57
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    Agree. I guess the current bridge between research and industry deserves a whole section :) (in fact there was a hot topic in the latest Interactions magazine about the lack of theming and repetition in hci research) Bottomline, both have targets to meet
    – maia
    Aug 11, 2015 at 5:42
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    Ya, I read a few papers on this topic. Most notably, this one - dl.acm.org/citation.cfm?id=1979100
    – Adit Gupta
    Aug 11, 2015 at 5:45
  • Thank you for all the references! I have some reading to do.
    – ulatekh
    Aug 12, 2015 at 22:37

As I get deeper into the subject, I've made a welcome discovery...the Microsoft WPF SDK does simultaneous touchscreen gestures! (Their name for them is "manipulations".) No need to implement my own gesture-detection library.

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