Touch sensitive surfaces have been important electronics input devices for decades, and have advanced over the years for enhanced capabilities including multi-touch. Sensel, however, aims to build “the next wave of touch technologies that will empower users, disrupt industries, and revolutionize interaction with the digital world.”
Those are bold claims, but their demo video shown below helps justify these assertions, showing how it can sense multiple simultaneous touch points with precise feedback in rain, temperature extremes and even with gloves on. This technology can detect touches as light as 1g and as heavy as a staggering 5kg, and even offers haptic feedback. Sensel’s Morph touchpad connects to a computer or smart device via USB or Bluetooth, and is compatible with with Mac, Windows, Linux, Android, and iOS.
If that has you thinking about how it could be customized to your application, their app enables you to design a custom overlay for the touch surface. This can then be 2D or 3D printed depending on your needs. It can even be used with Arduino via the Morph Developer’s Cable, opening up a wide variety of interface options. This requires an Arduino with multiple hardware serial ports, like the Mega or Due, in order to handle the amount of data bandwidth the Morph requires.