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In computing, multi-touch is technology that enables a surface (a trackpad or touchscreen) to recognize the presence of more than one or more than two points of contact with the surface. This plural-point awareness may be used to implement additional functionality, such as pinch to zoom or to activate certain subroutines attached to predefined gestures.
The 2 different uses of the term are the result of the quick developments in this field, which resulted in many companies using the term "multi-touch" for marketing purposes for older technology that is called gesture-enhanced single-touch or several other terms by other companies and researchers. There are several other similar or related terms that attempt to differentiate between whether a device can exactly determine or only approximate the location of different points of contact and that attempt to further differentiate between the various technological capabilities, but they are often used as synonyms in marketing.