Two-Handed, Magic Trackpad Gestures

Discussion in 'Mac Programming' started by TheOnlyJon, Nov 10, 2010.

  1. TheOnlyJon macrumors 6502a


    Jul 25, 2009
    So I was thinking today...frightening, I know.

    I'm interested in developing an application/driver that will allow a user to use two magic trackpads to perform two-handed gestures. By checking the status of one trackpad and then combining it with the status of the other, the user could, in theory, perform some pretty useful actions. Think about it:

    - Left hand, four fingers, slide up...right hand, four fingers, slide down: Launch Browser, Perform Actionscript

    There are already a bunch of actions you can perform with one trackpad, but the possibilities would be even greater by combining two. Also, is there a way to dig into the existing driver to implement support for actions such as five-finger pinch?

    Anyone want to help me with this project? If it's even possible...
  2. whooleytoo macrumors 604


    Aug 2, 2002
    Cork, Ireland.
    Interesting idea. I don't know what the public API is, so I don't know if it's possible to get the location of each finger touching the pad. (Obviously it is for the OS, but I don't know if that API is public).

    If it is possible - bear in mind, if you're doing gestures with 4 fingers on each pad, that's probably overkill. With 2 pads, you can go back to using one finger on each pad for simple gestures, then one finger on one pad, 2 on the other etc. If you get to 4 fingers on each pad - that's too many for the user to readily remember.
  3. kainjow Moderator emeritus


    Jun 15, 2000
    Have you looked at BetterTouchTool? Not sure if it supports multiple Magic Trackpads.
  4. Apple OC macrumors 68040

    Apple OC

    Oct 14, 2010
    2 hands? ... I do not know if this would take off ..sounds as complicated as playing the piano.

    however all you can do is try ... good luck :cool:
  5. TheOnlyJon thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Jul 25, 2009
    It would really just be as few or as many as the user was comfortable with. I can't help but be very much attracted to the human-computer interaction in sci-fi's like Minority Report. In those futuristic settings, they're always controlling the computer almost as if they're conducting an orchestra - it's a combination of one-handed and two-handed gestures.

    I'm absolutely crazy about hotkeys (I love Quicksilver) so I'd be really in to setting up macros and stuff to run for different gesture sets.

    Yeah, I've seen BetterTouchTool, although admittedly, I haven't even researched to see if it supports dual trackpads. It does exactly what I would want it to, but I'm looking for dual support. I'll see what I can find.

    If all else fails, I'll see what I can come up with, train myself a bit, then post a video of the possibilities. The idea of directing my computer with my hands (mouse-free) is very appealing.

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