Failed/Cancelled - Crowdfunding: Basic touchscreen support for Microsoft Windows

One of the frequently requested features for Psychtoolbox on Windows over the last years was multitouch touch screen support. So far we only had high quality touch screen support on Linux. I always said it wasn’t easily possible on Windows, because multiple attempts of mine and all conventional approaches to this on MS-Windows in the past failed. Recently i gave it another try with a creative and twisted angle, and this time it worked! I do have basic touchscreen support, not as flexible and powerful as for Linux, but at least a single touchscreen display setup, e.g., a MS-Windows tablet, works, as tested with a Microsoft Surface Pro 6 tablet.

Now, given the depressing lack of financial funding by our user community so far, over six months in, which would pay for such improvements from the community funding money pot, if the user community would actually take on our offer, we do need money and can not give this feature away for free.

The cost for integrating this feature in its current basic form for Windows-10 is 9000 Euros + all applicable sales taxes. Or 60 community memberships with priority support at the current cost for such a license of 150 Euros + tax == 60 * 150 == 9000 Euros.

If a lab is interested in buying this feature immediately, you could contact us directly ( or

But another interesting approach to this which i would like to test here is crowdfunding by multiple labs by using our community memberships with priority support as a “micro-payment” method for an actual new feature. Here is how it works:

  1. You buy one or multiple such memberships following the instructions and links to the relevant online shop from

  2. You use the purchased license key(s) to generate authentication token(s) by running the PTB function PsychPaidSupportAndServices, one token per individual key.

  3. You post the generated authentication token(s) (not the license key!), one for each license key from each purchased community membership as a reply to this forum message, or to stating your interest in funding touchscreen support for Windows.

Once we have received a total of at least 60 valid authentication tokens from 60 valid license keys as proof that the 60 * 150 = 9000 euros have been paid, i will invalidate the corresponding licenses, ie. i will treat this as if the full 60 minutes of priority support for the corresponding license have been used up by you. Then i will integrate touchscreen support for Windows and release it in the next upcoming PTB beta.

Until the number of 60 licenses is reached, or if the number isn’t ever reached, you can of course use the paid for priority support for actual priority support during the contract period of 1 year after purchase, or simply contribute to the much needed funding of Psychtoolbox ongoing development and maintenance, something any lab should do anyway if they care about the quality and health of their research software, independent of this specific case. But obviously you can’t double-spend it. If the money for touchscreen support would arrive by other means before the magic count of 60 has been reached, well then you get your touchscreen support and keep the licenses for other use than this. In any case, no refunds!

Caveat: This was tested on Octave and Matlab R2020b under Windows-10. If this funding campaign would drag out too long, new incompatibilities between future Windows releases or Matlab/Octave releases could show up and require extra integration work, which would increase the price to more than 9000 Euros or 60 licenses. Or worst case, the approach could fail again, invalidating this offer.

This should allow also smaller, less well funded labs to chip in, while minimizing the risk that your money goes to waste. Worst case, you contributed a small amount of money towards a project that your lab depends on anyway and can feel good that you did the right thing.

Thanks for your consideration and support.

We have our two taker, sent to us via e-mail, :). Thanks for supporting the release of this feature. 58 More license keys required.



So this was another disappointing failure - crowdfunding seems to be another thing that doesn’t work, not even for features strongly desired by users.

Our user survey told us that over 200 labs wanted to have touchscreen support. 60 labs would have had to pay a tiny amount of money to get windows touchscreen support immediately, but only two labs could be arsed to spend 150 Euros for getting it – thanks to those two who tried to do the right thing. Ofc. it could also be that all 200 labs switched to Linux, and are enjoying excellent touchscreen support since many years, who knows? If not, i can only feel sorry for those who tried to work around proper touchscreen support and did hacks like using GetMouse – a wonderful way to create data trash.

In any case, what we have learned here is that we can not trust anything our users said in the survey. Certainly they don’t put their money where their mouth is. I will not try any crowdfunding approach ever again where I get to do work before the work is fully paid upfront.

In the end, Mathworks paid for Windows touchscreen support in our 2021 contract, thereby saving us from a massive financial loss, thank you!

Of course, given their funding contributions to us are both fixed size and rather small, this means they didn’t sponsor another extremely exciting visual stimulation feature, which was initially planned for this contract cycle – sacrifices had to be made. That thing will now be delayed by at least a year, probably longer.

Slacktivism at its best.