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Windows MultiPoint Mouse SDK FAQ

What is the Windows MultiPoint Mouse SDK?

Windows MultiPoint Mouse Software Development Kit (SDK) is a free developer tool that allows you to support multiple mouse pointers in your Flash and Windows Presentation Framework (WPF) applications so that up to 50 users, each with their own mouse, can simultaneously interact and collaborate on a single PC display.

What kinds of applications can be developed with the MultiPoint Mouse?

The sky is the limit. To date MultiPoint Mouse SDK has largely been used by Education ISVs and content publishers to create collaborative and competitive applications for classrooms and school computer labs.  MultiPoint Mouse SDK’s compatibility with the .NET Framework and Flash support means that MultiPoint Mouse SDK can also be applied to vertical markets such as gaming and business to make multiplayer casual games and productivity software.
To learn more about how MultiPoint Mouse SDK has been used in Education click here.

Will installing MultiPoint Mouse automatically make my existing applications and desktop multiple-mouse enabled?

No.  Making your existing applications multiple-mouse enabled will require you to change the application code by using MultiPoint Mouse SDK. MultiPoint Mouse SDK should also not be confused with applications that enable multiple people to control multiple mouse devices to perform standard operations on the desktop.  In those cases, the system typically cannot identify which mouse has made which changes, and there is usually no option for controlling the permissions of the various devices.

What kinds of controls does MultiPoint Mouse SDK provide?

MultiPoint Mouse SDK provides  you with the controls you need to make your applications multiple-mouse enabled, including the ability to:

  • Automatically detect connected mouse devices and assign unique on-screen cursors for each user
  • Differentiate between clicks and movements from different connected mouse devices
  • Assign customized cursors for each user to help users easily identify themselves onscreen
  • Restrict individual cursors to use only specific areas of the screen to better enable simultaneous play on a single display
  • Create separate  permissions for each user including administrator permissions   

Why would I want to connect 50 mouse devices to a single computer? What is the scenario?

In large audience settings, such as meetings and classrooms, several users can collaborate on a large projected screen by using different mouse devices instead of using individual computers.

How can I connect so many mouse devices to my computer?  

Fortunately, these days most new portable computers and desktops feature multiple USB ports.  In instances where the application requires several more mouse devices than USB ports present on the computer, you can use USB hubs to provide additional USB ports.

What kinds of devices are supported by MultiPoint Mouse SDK?

Currently only USB mouse devices are supported by the MultiPoint Mouse SDK.  Mouse trackpads found on portable computers, keyboards, PS/2 mouse devices and other HID devices, such as joysticks and game controllers are not supported.  

Can I have different applications on the same screen for different users?  

No. However, MultiPoint Mouse SDK gives you the controls to exclude pointers from regions of the screen, which means that a single MultiPoint Mouse application can split or partition the screen such that Tic-Tac-Toe can be playing on the left side while Poker is playing on the right side.

Does MultiPoint Mouse SDK support multiple screens that show  the same/different applications to different users?

No. MultiPoint Mouse SDK only supports multiple users on single PC display, using multiple USB mouse devices.

What software do I need to use MultiPoint Mouse SDK?  

The following software is required to use MultiPoint Mouse SDK:

  • .NET Framework 3.0, 3.5, or .NET Framework 4
  • Visual Studio 2008, or Visual Studio 2005 with WPF extensions installed
  • Microsoft Expression Blend (optional, but recommended)

To download the free trial version of Visual Studio 2008 click here.