multitouch on the kogan agora netbook

The agora netbook’s touchpad comes with a Synaptics touchpad, and a common question popping up around here and on the kogan blog goes something like: “does the touchpad support multitouch?”.

A quick google later, and reveals an article that seems to be the holy grail of multitouch for Ubuntu. The title says it all:

Multi touch for any, all synaptics touchpad

“Any, all” – that’s me! But lets double check. According to what my kernel reports, my agora is equipped with a Synaptics touchpad:

Synaptics Touchpad, model: 1, fw: 6.5, id: 0x25c0b1, caps: 0xa04711/0xa00000
input: SynPS/2 Synaptics TouchPad as /devices/platform/i8042/serio1/input/input9

So far so good. Before launching into adding more configuration options for HAL, I caught the last part of the article – “Update: Diagnosing your touchpad for multi-finger-sensing-capability”. Using the synclient command, you can query the touchpad to see if it will support multitouch.

In a nutshell, synclient will show you lots of data including your finger’s position on the pad, the ‘width’ of your finger, the amount of ‘pressure’ being applied, and also the number of fingers touching the pad. The man page for synclient tells us that column ‘f‘ is for:

The number of fingers currently touching the touchpad. Note that only some touchpads can report more than one finger. Generally, synaptics touchpads can, but ALPS touchpads can’t.

Now to see if there is any proof in the pudding (or fingers in the pie… errr… on the touchpad):

$ synclient -m500
time x y z f w l r u d m multi gl gm gr gdx gdy
0.000 0001 5855 000 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 00000000 0 0 0 0 0
3.502 2127 3540 080 1 4 0 0 0 0 0 00000000 0 0 0 0 0
4.002 2087 3556 084 1 4 0 0 0 0 0 00000000 0 0 0 0 0
4.502 2058 3854 084 1 4 0 0 0 0 0 00000000 0 0 0 0 0
5.003 2048 3861 084 1 4 0 0 0 0 0 00000000 0 0 0 0 0
5.503 2040 3865 084 1 4 0 0 0 0 0 00000000 0 0 0 0 0

This is where it all comes undone. The finger column, ‘f‘ contains 1, despite the fact that I had multiple fingers on the touchpad, and tried different locations, simultaneous touching with multiple fingers and progressively adding more fingers.

So to answer the original question – does the touchpad on the kogan agora support multitouch? No. Sorry. Not under UNR anyway.

You can however enable vertical and horizontal scrolling using the edges of the touchpad, and right clicking by tapping the top right corner – all described in previous posts on this site!

 

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