The new Ideum Prototyping + Usability Lab is now operational! As the name suggests, we use this space to build prototypes and conduct testing. But the space is so much more than than. The lab is also equipped with a media production area, 3D printing and CNC router room, and even a showroom for our multitouch tables. If you missed our announcement about the full capabilities of the Prototyping + Usability Lab in our blog last month, check it out for more details.
We’ve already utilized the space on some exciting new projects, such as building out 55″ UHD 4K and 84″ UHD 4K prototype multitouch tables for the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum. We’ve also been building a number of custom displays for the Field Museum. In September, we will be building out two new multitouch tables. We’ll be sure to keep you posted on all of these exciting projects.
This month we also conducted usability testing for a variety of Web and mobile projects including our own GestureWorks Gameplay software. Perhaps our most interesting experiment in our new Lab has been our work with tangibles and projected capacitive touch screens. Check out our Dynamic Desktop prototype, which for the first time allows objects to trigger interactions in a non-vision-based system. We have plans to continue work on this experimental software which works with our GestureWorks HCI framework.
Here’s a little peek at the Prototyping + Usability Lab in its first month of operation. If you’d like to see more, we have additional photos on Flickr.
Projected Capacitive Touch (PCT or P-Cap) is the most popular type of touch technology around. It is the same touch technology found in iPad and iPhones and nearly every Android and Windows 8 phone and tablet to boot. There are hundreds of millions of PCT screens out there.
When it comes to large scale touch screens (40″ or bigger), it has taken some time for PCT to take hold. The technology has had some issues in scaling up to larger screens. Because of this issue camera-based and optical systems have been around much longer and still dominate the market. (Although, PCT screens are starting to catch up.) Of course, these optical systems have issues of their own, light interference and calibration issues can be troubling and if they are camera-based touch tables or walls, “thin” means several inches thick at a minimum.
Projected capacitive touch doesn’t have any of the issues that optical touch systems have. It works in any lighting environment, calibration is a breeze (if needed at all), and “thin” means thin, just a couple of inches. However, vision-based systems and camera-based systems have always had the ability to recognize objects: fiducials or other tangibles. Over the years, a number of innovative applications using objects on touch tables have been explored.
PCT screens which are not vision-based, historically, haven’t had the ability to support tangibles, until now. By using conductive materials such as, 3D printed conductive plastics, we have been able to create unique conductive patterns that our GestureWorks software can recognize on standard PCT screens.
It’s still experimental but check out this video and some photos showing how it works. The video shows the system working on a Platform 46 multitouch table with a Presenter 46 mounted on the wall. Both of these systems use 3M projected capacitive touch screens.
See all the Dynamic Desktop photos on Flickr
There’s still more work to do in improving the fidelity of the system, but as you can see from the video progress has been made. There are challenges still in 3D printing objects with the conductive materials. However, we’ve just added our third 3D printer, so we are actively working on the materials side of things too. We will post some more updates as we continue to improve the system.
Ideum has partnered with Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art to navigate their extensive State of the Art: Discovering American Art Now exhibition, running from September 13, 2014 to January 19, 2015.
We are collaborating with Crystal Bridges in the creation of a custom software application that will allow visitors to go beyond the works in the gallery and explore each of the 100 American artists in the State of the Art exhibit in more detail, complete with works that are not on physical display in the museum.
The exhibit spans a variety of medium, from more traditional painting and sculpture to installation and new media works – the custom application gives viewers the ability to view works of all types in one convenient location. Users navigate the US map to find artists from all over the country, learn about their motivation, view their studios, and even watch recorded interviews with the artists talking about their work. Additionally, users can find artwork and artists in their neck of the woods – by entering a zip code and an email address, they can have a custom list of galleries and museums emailed to them.
Additionally, Ideum has developed two custom multitouch screens to display the custom software, helping visitors investigate further into the incredible lives and artwork of these up-and-coming artists and explore what is happening today in American art.
More information about this incredible exhibit to come, as we get closer to the opening date.
For current information on State of the Art: Discovering American Art Now, please visit: http://crystalbridges.org/exhibitions/stateoftheart/
This August our new Prototyping + Usability Lab will be operational. (For those of you who are familiar with Ideum, this completes our second, “Building D” expansion.) A 4,000+ square foot flexible space, the Prototyping + Usability Lab will help support Ideum’s diverse media, software, and hardware initiatives. The Lab will support product development and custom exhibit work in a variety of different ways.
Testing and Usability
The space will have a testing and usability area with a dedicated Device Lab. Dozens of mobiles phones, tablets, game controllers, multitouch screens, motion recognition cameras, and other HCI devices will be permanently available for testing. This testing area will be used for our custom mobile, Web, and kiosk development and it will help support our GestureWorks Gameplay software which can be used a variety of Windows 8 tablets and Android tablets and phones.
The prototying space will allow us to more easily develop new concept multitouch tables like our prototype 55” Platform touch table which recently debuted at infocomm 2014. In addition, custom built exhibits from touch walls to touch tables and other types of computer-based interactives will be developed in this fully-equipped space. By separating our prototyping and custom work, we’ve also freed up additional production space to meet the increased demand for our multitouch table and touch wall products.
While the Prototyping + Usability Lab is mostly open space, a soundproof room is being constructed for our CNC router, power tools, and 3D printers. This quiet room will allow us to fabricate small pieces and make modifications to prototypes and custom exhibits.
Media Production & More
A video and photography shooting area is planned with a dual setup allowing a green screen/green floor in one direction and “living room” set in the other. The set section will be able to be configured in a variety of different ways. Dedicated studio lighting will simplify the production of exhibit content development, video interviews, product shots, and portfolio pieces.
Finally, the Lab will have a “showroom” area will house our multitouch table rentals when they are not out for events. This area will be used for visitors but we will be able to do video conferencing product demos.
Here are some photographs of the space as we are just getting started. We will post more photos as the build out continues.
Last month the gaming community helped get our GestureWorks Gameplay software Greenlit on Steam and we couldn’t be happier. Now our groundbreaking virtual controller utility for PC games is even more accessible through the Steam gaming platform. Current license holders of Gameplay will receive Steam codes once the software is available for sale in Steam later this summer.
Gameplay allows you to configure Virtual Controllers for legacy PC games for use on Windows 8 touch devices like tablets, Ultrabooks, All-in-Ones, 2-in-1s, and touch-enabled desktop systems. You can also download Virtual Controllers built by other gamers and share the controllers you’ve built with the Gameplay community.
Mid-summer Gameplay 2 will be release with support for Android remote devices. Check out the video for Gameplay Version 2:
This summer Ideum, makers of GestureWorks and GestureWorks Gameplay, will be releasing version 2 of Gameplay, their popular PC gaming utility. Version 2 will allow gamers to turn their Android phones and tablets into Virtual Controllers which are fully customizable for hundreds of PC games. Up to four players can be connected for co-op and multiplayer games. While the Virtual Controllers can emulate the joystick, buttons, D-pad, and other controls of a standard game control, the easy-to-use drag and drop interface allows for so much more customization. Opacity, size, and sensititvity can all be adjusted and there are even game-specific skins available with each of the four controllers showing a unique color and character from the game. Next week at the Game Developers Conference (GDC) in San Francisco attendees will get a sneak peek of Gameplay 2 in Intel’s booth. Along with standard PCs and Android devices, Intel will have an Ideum 46″ Multitouch Drafting Table in their booth #1016 at GDC.
Race your friends playing DiRT3.
Connect your touch devices and play co-op with friends!
Play games like Castle Crashers using your Android device.
See more photos of Gameplay 2 here.
Gameplay 2 introduces a more social side to gaming as controllers and screenshots can both be shared easily between friends. Also new in Version 2 is the ability for the Android controllers to provide audio and vibration feedback and receive accelerometer data.
GestureWorks Gameplay Version 2 beta will be open in May. Owners of Version 1 who have published Virtual Controllers and have been active and helpful in the forums will be asked if they are interested in participating; all beta participants will receive a free upgrade. Anyone who has purchased Version 1 in 2014 or purchases it now will also receive a free upgrade. Other licensed Gameplay owners, including those who received free copies from participating in Version 1 beta, will receive a significant discount on Version 2 when it is available.
Read the full GestureWorks Gameplay 2 press release.
Ideum multitouch products head to Las Vegas again for the Digital Signage Expo 2014 (DSE) from February 12-13. Our tables will be featured in the 3M booth (#1600) – see our Platform 46 Coffee Table, Full-size Table, and Drafting Multitouch Table. We will also be making an exciting new product announcement with 3M – stay tuned!
3M will be pairing the tables with our innovative GestureWorks Gameplay product for Windows 8 and Visit Indy a custom 3D way finding application our Creative Services team developed with RATIO Architects.
Check out our the video for our most recent release, the Platform 46 Drafting Multitouch Table:
Computer-based technology continues to evolve at an ever-accelerating rate, creating both opportunities and challenges for science centers and museums. We are now seeing computing enter new realms, one that are potentially more promising for exhibit development than earlier ones.
The text above is the opening to a new article, Human Computer Interaction and the Next Generation of Science Center Exhibits written by Jim Spadaccini the (Founder and Creative Director of Ideum) which appears in the Jan/Feb 2014 issue of the Association of Science – Technology Center’s Dimension’s Magazine.
While we strongly encourage you to subscribe to Dimensions, we’ve also posted the PDF version of the article here (Human Computer Interaction and the Next Generation of Science Center Exhibits – 300kb PDF) for those of you who are interested but are not regular readers of ASTC Dimensions. The article was reposted with permission from the Association of Science-Technology Centers, Inc.
Viva Las Vegas! Ideum and GestureWorks will be at CES 2014 in Las Vegas, January 7-10, showing off our latest hardware and software offerings. The best place to see our hardware is the 3M Touch Systems booth, South Hall 3 – 30459. There will four (yes, four!) Ideum multitouch tables in the 3M booth. We will have our 32″ and 46″ Multitouch Coffee Tables, our Platform 46″ Multitouch Table, and our newest form factor, the Platform 46 Drafting Multitouch Table.
A few Ideum-built multitouch apps will be featured in the 3M booth. You can check out our 3D Multitouch Foosball application and the Visit Indy interactive exhibit. Also, check out two-player PC games touch-enabled with GestureWorks Gameplay. These two-player touch controllers provide an arcade-like experience on a large multitouch table.
GestureWorks Gameplay will also be featured in Intel booth at CES 2014, Central Hall – 7252. Gameplay software will be running on a number of All-In-One systems. You can play Castle Crashers, Trine, and Duck Tales with Gameplay touch controllers. Gameplay will also make an appearance in the Intel 2-in-1 and tablet areas of their booth. We will do another post closer to CES with more details!
Duck Tales on GestureWorks Gameplay.
Come on by the 3M and Intel and check us out. If you’d like to meet up, just send us an email at: info -at- ideum.com. See you in Vegas!
GestureWorks Gameplay has gotten a lot of attention since its launch at the Intel Developer Forum (IDF 2013) last month in San Francisco. Besides being featured in the keynote and in demos at IDF, Engadget, Joystiq, and Gizmag covered the release. Now the software is ready for Beta release and the first invitations have been sent out.
Those who participate in the Beta program will be getting more than they might have expected. With help from Intel, we are providing free release copies of the software to all the folks who signed up for Beta in September and the next 1,000 who sign up this month!
To sign up, go to: https://gameplay.gestureworks.com
Beta users will receive their invitations into the Beta program starting October 3rd.
Here’s a video of Gameplay in action on new Intel Bay Trail tablet (also announced at IDF). The game shown is one of our favorites, Castle Crashers.