Forums > MaxMSP

Trying to get actual x y position of finger on touchpad

Aug 08 2011 | 10:42 am

I’m working on a patch that will involve using a (windows) laptop touchpad as a drawing surface, sort of like the inklet app on Mac, however I’m having trouble figuring out a way to get the raw x y data to Max and not the position of the pointer as you get from the mousestate object.

Anyone got any ideas? Any help would be much appreciated.

Aug 08 2011 | 11:34 am

is this touchpad an external (USB) device? If so, there are two possibilities (I know of): one is the [hi] object; the other is to hack the touchpad, and get the voltages into an Arduino.


Aug 08 2011 | 12:11 pm


Wouldn’t it also be possible to reverse the mousestate-data to the raw data (if you know what the resolution is of the touchpad) by dividing the screen-resolution with the touchpad-resolution? I mean it’s probably the same way it adjusts itself to different screen-resolutions (800*600, 1024*768, etc)


Aug 08 2011 | 12:55 pm

Patches say a lot more than words

-- Pasted Max Patch, click to expand. --

Aug 09 2011 | 4:06 am

That’s a good idea extrapolating back from the mousestate data, however that requires the finger to be in contact with the touchpad at all times, whereas I’d rather be able to put a finger down at any point and for that location to be recognised. In theory it must be possible as there are bits in the device settings dialogues that show a diagram of the touchpad area which show where the finger is in contact with it to calibrate scrolling areas etc. (it is an internal one in answer to your question n00b_meister), it’s a matter of getting at that data somehow which is a bit beyond me.
[hi] looks promising however I can’t get it to see the touchpad yet, I guess because it’s internal and not usb, I’ll keep at it though.
Any further ideas would be much appreciated. Thanks!

Aug 13 2011 | 8:21 am

have you tried the fingerpinger external ?

Aug 13 2011 | 11:28 am

fingerpinger is really well done… thanks for sharing.

Aug 15 2011 | 2:15 pm

Fingerpinger looks great, but it’s only on Mac, and I’m firmly stuck in PC land at the moment unless I can make one of my crusty old laptops into a Hackintosh, although I’m guessing driver issues in that case would make the situation worse. Aaaannndd, sadly [hi] doesn’t seem able to see any hardware on my machine, or even a usb mouse. Getting frustrated.

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Forums > MaxMSP