The concept of ‘Multi-touch’ in gaming began with the iPhone and gradually moved on to other devices, finding its place in the industry. This is the next level! UMass Lowell Robotics Lab student Eric McCann hacked a version of the control scheme – “DREAM” (Dynamically Resizing Ergonomic and Multi-touch) that was developed by Mark Micire, to create a version that runs on the Surface and provides all of the functionality of a physical joystick (for games) through multi-touch interaction. This transforms the experience of controlling video games (on the Surface) seem like piloting ‘The Enterprise’ on Star Trek, only much easier.

By simply placing five fingers on the table, the joystick is dynamically re-sized and oriented to the user’s hands automatically on every hand placement. It can also be moved to any position of the screen by dragging the index and middle fingers. The video below demonstrates Microsoft’s Flight Simulator and Valve Corporation’s Portal controlled exclusively through hand interaction on the tabletop.

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 A Harihara Sravan (MGIT ECE)