Windows Multitouch and XNA

By
Dave
Project
Published
9 Feb 2013 23:56
Last Modified
10 Apr 2013 00:08

I wanted to support multitouch in an XNA application on Windows, without using the Microsoft Surface 2.0 SDK and runtime. Unlike Windows Phone however, touch input on Windows is not natively supported by the XNA framework. I have therefore followed the recommended approach and added a new input source to my manipulation processor for WM_TOUCH messages. It therefore works on both Windows 7 and Windows 8.

I hook the Windows message loop to a managed function pointer using GetFunctionPointerForDelegate and Get/SetWindowLongPtr. I then register the window for multitouch using RegisterTouchWindow, and process WM_TOUCHDOWN, WM_TOUCHMOVE and WM_TOUCHUP messages.

While no longer requiring the Microsoft Surface 2.0 runtime, one option to inject WM_TOUCH messages on non-touch hardware is to use the Microsoft Surface 2.0 SDK Input Simulator, as shown below in Figure 1. Note that this method for simulating input will only work on Windows 7, however.

WM_TOUCH manipulation

Figure 1. WM_TOUCH manipulation, using the Surface 2.0 SDK Input Simulator.

Curiously, WM_TOUCH messages are only provided when not using a mouse. If the mouse is used, WM_TOUCHUP messages are fired for all current touches, so mixed-mode interactions when the mouse is used simultaneously are not possible.

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