Human Computer Interaction & the Next Generation of Exhibits

HCI Science Center ExhibitsComputer-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.



Ideum at CES 2014 Las Vegas

2014 CES

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 in action for two players on a Platform 46 Coffee 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!


Ideum Multitouch Tables Now Available to Rent!

We’ve always been asked if we rent our multitouch tables, well now we do! Finally, you can rent a Platform 46 full-size table or a Platform 46 / 32 coffee table for your event. Wow your guests or clients with our one-of-a-kind tables and present your content with socially engaging technology.  We offer short and long-term rentals to accommodate your needs. 

Check out our multitouch rentals microsite for more information. 

For questions, and for bookings and availability, please contact us at (505) 792-1110 ext. 1 or toll free in the US and Canada (855) 898-6824, or sales@ideum.com. Rentals are available in the United States and Canada only.



Ideum Creative Services – Portfolio Update

Over the last few years, we’ve become fairly well known for our hardened multitouch tables and touch walls.  What some people don’t know is that we provide creative services in the areas of application development and custom exhibits. In fact, our firm has been developing interactive exhibits for nearly fifteen years. 

To better showcase these services we’ve redesigned our portfolio site. We’ve also added new projects including: Visit Indy – a multitouch-enabled 3D interactive exhibit exploring the city of Indianapolis and Survey George Washington – a multiuser interactive developed with the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art. In addition, earlier this year we added projects with SFMOMA, Gateway Science Museum, and Spinnaker Tower to the interactive exhibits section of our portfolio. 

We’ve added many additional photographs to the Ideum Flickr site showing these custom applications and some of the custom hardware that we’ve produced (a few examples below).

Visit IndySurveying George Washington Surveying George Washington

Currently, we are working on projects with George Washington’s Mount Vernon (yes, another George Washington project!), Citizen Science, the National Park Service, NASA, and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). These projects will be appearing in our portfolio in the coming months. 


New Version of Informal Science is Live

Informal Science Website Screenshot

This week the new site for the Informal Science website (informalscience.org) was launched. Ideum, in collaboration with CAISE (The Center for Advancement of Informal Science Education) and the Lawrence Hall of Science at UC Berkeley, designed the site and compiled the resources of three previous educational sites into a single, comprehensive online destination for informal science education (ISE) professionals. The site was developed with funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF).

Along with a new and improved design, the Informal Science website features an active member community, interactive guides, a robust project and research search engine, discussion forum, in-depth wiki and much more.

Learn more about the Informal Science web project in our portfolio.



Ideum at the AAM Annual Meeting and MuseumExpo

aam_logoIdeum will be attending this month’s American Alliance of Museum’s Annual Meeting and MuseumExpo in Baltimore, May 19-22. We’ll be at Booth #501 - come see our Platform 3M 46 touch table, Presenter 55 touch wall, and our Open Exhibits Collection Viewer application.  

The MuseumExpo opening event begins on Monday, May 20th at noon. 

Jim Spadaccini, Ideum’s CEO & Creative Director, will present in the Annual Meeting session titled Learning Together: Developing Multi-User Interactives on Tuesday, May 21st at 8:45 a.m.  Fellow presenters include Aaron Miller of Bluecadet, Marie Georg of the Field Museum, and moderator Josh Goldblum of Bluecadet. 


Flickr-Based Multitouch & Multiuser Collection Viewer

Our Open Exhibits educational software initiative recently released a new multitouch and multiuser Collection Viewer allowing visitors to browse large museum collections.  The software pulls images and their descriptions directly from “sets” in Flickr, making the collections easy to manage.

The software has customizable “docks” that allow it to be optimized for touch wall or multitouch table displays.  The software is free for educational use. The video below shows how the software works.

The example we developed pulls images from the Women in Science Flickr set posted by the Smithsonian. Open Exhibits is supported by the National Science Foundation.


Open Exhibits Workshop at Museums and the Web 2013

Open Exhibits is presenting a workshop at the Museums and the Web 2013 conference in Portland, Oregon on Wednesday, April 17.

The Open Exhibits workshop will explore the technology and design aspects of multitouch, multi-user exhibit development through hands-on application building using the Open Exhibits SDK. Among much else, the workshop will introduce the digital database collection viewer, an application that allows multitouch, mulituser browsing of a museum’s digital media archive.

The workshop is open to both new and veteran users. Workshop attendees will have the opportunity to ask questions and learn about topics of interest including:

• Integrating digital media databases (including Flickr)
• Multitouch, multiuser design strategies
• Gesture Markup Language
• Creative Markup Language
• Building components and other advanced SDK topics

Workshop attendees will experience the Open Exhibits software framework through one of Ideum’s multitouch tables, the Platform.The attendees will learn how to create an application using the framework and will have the opportunity to test it on a large multitouch, multiuser computing surface.

The workshop will be led by Jim Spadaccini, Director of Ideum and Principal Investigator of Open Exhibits and Charles Veasey, Project Manager and Lead Software Developer of Open Exhibits.

The annual Museums and the Web conference is the leading international conference in the field of museums and their websites. It has been organized by Archives & Museum Informatics each Spring in North America since 1997.

Register now:


New Presenter Model – Huge Multitouch Wall

Back in June we announced a major refresh of our multitouch tables, now we’ve redesigned the Presenter multitouch wall.  We’ve learned alot since we announced the first Presenter model back in January. This new model is thinner (2″ inches!), modular (you can purchase just the screen), and like the Pro and Platform it has improved performance and now comes with RFID. Another change is that the new Presenter is designed to be hung either in a traditional horizontal configuration or vertically.

Windows 8-ready

The Presenter is also Windows 8 ready. We’ve been testing some of the pre-release candidates for Windows 8 on all of our touch products. The Presenter ships with a lifetime license of GestureWorks Pro and is available now. The first three Presenters have already shipped out to New England Aquarium. More units are shipping next week.

For more information, please download and read the Ideum Presenter Press Release.

Adobe PDFIdeum Presenter Press Release
(Updated: 09-06-12) (57kb)


You can see a video of the Presenter below. Specifications and other information is available on the Presenter Touch Wall pages.



Ideum Expands Again

It has been a busy summer here at Ideum. We’ve added more space across from our main building and we’ve added a number of new developers and a technical writer. Some of this growth is in response to the increasing demand for our multitouch tables and touch wall products. This summer we’ve broken all of our prior sales records and we are currently working hard to increase our capacity. New versions of GestureWorks and Open Exhibits are also slated for release this fall.Table Assembly

Building D

A number of new Web initiatives are also getting started up this summer. We are working on projects with Cornell University and with the Center for the Advancement of Informal Science Education (CAISE).  Along with expanding the number of Web developers, we’ve recently moved to cloud-based hosting. Additionally, we’ve just constructed our own server room which will provide one more layer of redundancy to our cloud services.

The additional space, now nearly 8,000 square feet, has also increased our ability to take on custom exhibit development. This summer we are working on custom exhibits with New England Aquarium, Children’s Discovery Museum of San Jose, and Museum of Science and Industry. We will share more about these large-scale computer exhibits when they launch later this fall.


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