Intuilab Issued U.S. Patent for Multi-Touch Gesture Recognition

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“Continuous recognition of multi-touch gestures” defines methods for properly capturing and processing multiple concurrent touch events, crucial for interactive, touch screen-based applications

The issuing of this patent further validates IntuiLab’s leadership role in the world of digital interactivity and highlights the innovation investment in IntuiLab’s IntuiFace technology started back in 2005.

IntuiLab, a leader in the design, creation and deployment of innovative multi-touch experiences, is proud to announce the publication of US Patent Number 8,390,577, “Continuous recognition of multi-touch gestures”. This patent identifies three methods critical for the accurate capture and processing of multiple – that is, two or more - concurrent touch events on interactive displays. The issuing of this patent further validates IntuiLab’s leadership role in the world of digital interactivity and highlights the innovation investment in IntuiLab’s IntuiFace technology started back in 2005.

Gesture recognition methods are at the core of multi-touch interaction. The availability of multi-touch input devices opens up possibilities for new innovative gestures using multiple fingers which can be more intuitive and efficient through their similarity to actions used to manipulate everyday objects. Indeed, learning a small set of hand gestures for direct manipulation is much easier than learning a slew of keyboard shortcuts. However, while there exists a variety of multi-touch gesture recognition engines, most of them only recognize isolated multi-touch gestures and none of them addresses the issue of supporting a real continuous recognition of multi-touch gestures.

IntuiLab’s patent addresses this issue of continuous recognition and does so in three parts. IntuiLab’s IntuiFace platform incorporates all three of the resulting methods in its multi-touch gesture recognition engine, or MGRE. The MGRE is a core component of all IntuiFace-based applications and can be applied equally to any Android, iOS or Windows-based touch environment.

The first part of the patent concerns the ability to determine whether or not additional touch points correspond to UI elements targeted by existing touch points. For existing gesture recognition engines, the target of the initial touch point steals focus, forcing interpretation of supplemental touch points as impacting the original UI element regardless of where on the display those secondary touch points actually occur. IntuiLab’s patent identifies a method for continually assessing a changing number of touch points on a display, assigning each touch point to the UI element addressed before determining the presence or absence of multi-touch gestures on each UI element. This approach ensures true multiple and parallel gesture processing.

The second part of the patent concerns the ability to transition from one multi-touch gesture to a different multi-touch gesture without first needing to lift all fingers off the multi-touch input device. Current multi-touch gesture recognition engines are not able to support this type of interaction, requiring the removal of all fingers from the display to “cancel” recognition of the initial gesture before a new gesture can be applied. IntuiLab’s patent identifies a method for continuous reassessment of gestures to enable a seamless transition from one gesture to the next without requiring all fingers to be lifted during each transition.

The third and final part of the patent extends the notion of continuous gesture recognition to multiple – and possibly geographically separated – multi-touch displays. Current multi-touch gesture recognition engines are incapable of identifying a gesture that might occur across several touch-enabled displays. An image partly visible on one display, partly on another is treated as two separate images by two distinct gesture recognition engines. IntuiLab’s patent identifies a method for sharing UI elements between multiple engines. In the aforementioned image example, placement of a finger on one image corner in one display and a different finger on a corner in a different display (maybe located miles away) are recognized as two touch points on the same image and will be interpreted as a pinch or spread gesture when they move together or apart.

“We are thrilled to receive this formal recognition of our efforts to make multi-touch more intuitive for the lay user,” says Vincent Encontre, IntuiLab’s CEO. “We strive to ensure our customers benefit from all of our investments and we promise to continue pushing ourselves to explore, extend and harness the cutting edge.”

IntuiLab’s US patent was formally issued on March 5, 2013. The European counterpart is currently pending.

About IntuiLab

Founded in 2002, IntuiLab is a global leader in the creation of natural user interface (NUI-based) solutions . Our core technology supports a wide variety of input methods including multi-touch, distant gesture control and object recognition. With the IntuiFace software platform, any organization can effortlessly create visually stunning, deeply functional, high ROI experiences, all without writing one line of code. IntuiLab partners with a variety of Tier 1 and Tier 2 industry players and has clients in multiple sectors including retail, marketing and sales, hospitality, banking, real estate and travel. More information is available at

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Geoffrey Bessin
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