Banner image

To touch or not to touch

Multitouch in 2014

Ever since the first multitouch table became available in the Netherlands, Doklab has developed applications that make it possible to show and share interesting content. In view of our ambition to connect people to stories and collections, multitouch has proven to be a wonderful solution. Yet in recent years, many libraries that had bought a table and a set of applications have run into problems. During our Extreme Library Makeovers we noticed that multitouch tables were not always being used, and were switched off. How is the situation now and what are the right ways to make good use of the tables and the software?

The price of multitouch tables and screens has dropped considerably over recent years, and that makes them more interesting to more institutions. Compared to the first ‘Microsoft Surface’ table that was launched about 5 years ago the tables are now definitely half the price they were, while the size of the screen has grown. Also, the technology has become much better. For example, the SUR40 table used to work not so well in rooms with too much light. This problem is solved and new models work much better now.

In the past few years we have done a lot of research on multitouch applications and on how to develop good applications, and on how you can put the tables and screens to good use. We would like to share the results of this research with you, and give you a few helpful tips:

Use multitouch for a specific purpose

Use the multitouch tables for a specific purpose: it is a waste of money, time and effort to only use the multitouch screen as a glorified chess game. Multitouch is a technology that allows visitors to browse through a story or collection together and, if so desired, add to the stories. Provide relevant content, put special collections in the spotlight, opt for multimedia and interactive solutions and ensure that there is always interesting and surprising content, which preferably is updated regularly.

Verhaal Lokaal

We have noticed that it works much better to show one application on the table at a time. Of course you can have multiple applications on the table, but choose to change them once a month instead of letting visitors decide what application is shown. This makes it a lot clearer to the visitors what they can do with multitouch technology. It is also easier to organize marketing communications with regard to the table and its content or to connect the application to relevant items of the collection.

Easily accessible for staff and customers

It is even more important to involve staff in the use of the application: they are the representatives of the services. It is for a good reason that we always try to involve staff early in the development process of the application. It is a shame when not all the great features of the developed applications are used because they are not understood by the staff. No wonder sometimes the tables are switched off. Our aim is to make the management of the applications as easy as possible . We do not use USB sticks to fill the table with new content, but let staff do this remotely from their own computer. By providing a system that makes the adding of stories as easy and fun as possible we think people will surely do this more often.

The distinction between multitouch tables and multitouch ‘screens ‘ or walls is something that we sometimes get questions about. When do you choose for a table and when for a screen? In the most cases we chose for a table solution. A table setup allows people to stand around a ‘collection’ or ‘story’. Nothing is as beautiful as the story of two library users that do not know each other and who browse together through a collection of archival photos and tell each other stories of the past. Of course, such a table setup creates great expectations for an application. The content shown on the table must naturally be well visible on both sides of the screen.

A hanging or standing screen is much more a ‘presentation’ screen. These screens are less inviting to touch and if anyone stands in front of the screen, it is less likely that someone else will come along to look over their shoulder. Exceptions are of course the big 2×2 or 4×3 touch screens that cover entire walls.


Marks & Spencers

We think that multitouch is going to play an important role in the libraries and museums of the future. It is important to find a bridge between the physical world and the digital world, in which thousands of interesting collections can be found. By putting such a collection in a sort of shopping window in a visually attractive, interactive and easy to use manner this collection will ultimately be viewed much more. In retail we see that more and more stores are offering larger collections online than they have in their store. On large touch screens people can browse through the collection and even try the clothes on digitally in front of the screen.

In short, the use of multi-touch technology is only just out of its infancy. After perhaps having made a false start, this technology will prove to be a powerful tool in our ‘attention economy’ to draw the attention of the people and to show them stunning digital pearls.

Guten Touch


  1. authentic garcinia cambogia net intl special

    You have a very good point of view here.Garcinia Cambogia originated
    from a herb located throughout India, Asia and Indonesia and used at Ayurvedic medicines.
    This vegetable appearance is definitely yellow and pumpkin shaped.
    The just about all common identity for this vegetable will be Gambooge.
    In Asia or throughout various other pieces of the
    planet, this herb is utilized to conserve various meals as very well as a preparation for particular food delicancy.

  2. Aleida

    Attractive section of content. I just stumbled upon your website and in
    accession capital to assert that I get in fact enjoyed account your blog
    posts. Anyway I will be subscribing to your augment and even I achievement
    you access consistently rapidly.

  3. Abel

    Normalement, nanmoins une arcade fashion racing loisirs offre les lecteur une
    directionun essence pdale et met eux confine dans le corporelles bote de le sport, prt l’impression le joueur est l’intrieur un voiture.
    Gnralement, un simple, libre logiciel obtenir est tous c’est voulait.
    Il n’est pas grave ce que votre choix est, tant que il a de voiture racing jeux
    vido, vous ne pouvez pas perdre.

  4. google plus app for android

    Excellent post. I used to be checking continuously this weblog and
    I’m inspired! Very helpful info particularly the last phase
    :) I take care of such info much. I used to be seeking this particular information for a long time.
    Thank you and best of luck.

  5. www

    I am now not sure the place you’re getting your information, but great topic.

    I must spend some time studying much more or working out more.
    Thanks for great info I was searching for this info for
    my mission.


    I paay a visit every day some web sites and blogs to read articles
    or reviews, however this website gives feature based posts.

  7. Coleman

    When some one searches for his vital thing, thus he/she
    needs to be available that in detail, so that thing is maintained over here.

  8. waterproof earbuds

    In recovery there is something caqlled dual factor theory.
    As with the HTC Legend and Desire HD, the HTC 7 Mozart incorporates a unibody
    casing, resulting in robustness along with a sense off luxury and build quality.

    These i – Phone accessories for kids are essential to make thee device safer and more convenient for kids to use.

  9. ipad repair

    Have you recently experienced any broken LCD screen,
    or water slippage into your favorite Ipod, Ipad or the latest ersion of Blackberry phone.
    Macbook – Worth it if yoou have an education discount, otherwise APP is 25% of the laptop’s sticker price.
    Overcharging alters the batteries ionization, ultimately leading to device malfunctions.

  10. anchor2

    Heya estoy soy por primera vez aquí . Me encontré con
    encontrado este foro y me parece verdaderamente
    realmente útil y que me ayudó mucho mucho . Espero poder dar algo a cambio y ayuda otros como tú
    ayudado yo.

  11. milky way midnight

    Oh my goodness! Impressive article dude! Thank you, However I am encountering issues
    with your RSS. I don’t understand the reason why I am unable to join it.
    Is there anybody else having the same RSS problems?

    Anyone who knows the answer will you kindly respond?

  12. hay day hack ios no jailbreak

    Hi there! I could have sworn I’ve been to this blog before but after reading through some of the post I realized it’s new to
    me. Anyways, I’m definitely happy I found it and
    I’ll be book-marking and checking back frequently!

  13. cheap smartphone

    Yesterday, while I was at work, my cousin stole my apple ipad
    and tested to see if it can survive a thirty foot drop, just so she can be
    a youtube sensation. My iPad is now destroyed and she has 83 views.
    I know this is completely off topic but I had to share it with someone!

  14. skype won't sign in

    They can be happening for a number of reasons, but
    the most common ones are software bugs. Hoje em
    dia, podemos optar entre muitos tipos de suporte. Step 4:
    Disconnected phone, turned off USB debugging.

  15. Krystle

    Howdy! This is my 1st comment here so I just wanted to give a quick shout out and tell you I really enjoy reading your articles.
    Can you suggest any other blogs/websites/forums that cover the same topics?

    Thank you so much!

  16. Gita

    hi!,I like your writing so a lot! proportion we keep
    up a correspondence more approximately your article on AOL?
    I need an expert in this space to solve my problem.
    Maybe that’s you! Looking forward to look you.

  17. Emory

    There is certainly a great deal to find out about this topic.
    I love all the points you’ve made.

Comments closed.