BusinessWeek has an article on the veiled threat that Apple has made to competitors regarding multi-touch technology. But the interesting part was a link to a whitepaper written by Bill Buxton. It’s a great historical overview/crash course of touch and multi-touch research that preceeded Apple’s work back almost 30 years.
Multi-touch technologies have a long history. To put it in perspective, the original work undertaken by my team was done in 1984, the same year that the first Macintosh computer was released, and we were not the first. Furthermore, there was a significant body of prior art on which multi-touch was built.