Multitouch interfaces provide a great deal of benefits for integrating new interaction modes within applications. Newer hardware and drivers on Mac OS X and Microsoft Windows allow for a variety of gestures beyond point and click that create more efficient application navigation. This article provides tools and code needed to add some of this new gesture support on older Linux-enabled hardware. Building on the output of the synclient program, the Perl code presented here allows you to assign specific application functions to "Three-Finger Swipe," as well as open- and close-pinch gestures.
The code presented here is designed for use with a computer equipped with a Synaptics TouchPad only and happened to be developed on an IBM ThinkPad T30. You can find Synaptics touch-pads on many laptops ranging from Acer Aspires to Toshiba Tecras. Consult the Resources for a Synaptics TouchPad software project hardware compatibility list to see if you hit the jackpot.