Custom Multitouch Tables for Cooper-Hewitt Experience

As we mentioned back in June (see post: The New Cooper-Hewitt Experience), we are building first-of-their-kind 4K UHD 55″ and 84″ multitouch tables for the Cooper-Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum. These tables have projected capacitive touch technology and have built NFC stations, allowing visitors to “check in” with a specialized stylus pen. This allows visitors to personalize and customize their experience at the museum.

The 84″ 4K UHD touch tables have support up to 40 touch points and have 10 NFC stations supporting multiple simultaneous visitors. Ideum has developed four of these massive systems along with four similar, but smaller, 55″ 4K multitouch tables and a few 55″ 4K wall mounts. These cutting-edge systems are fabricated out of aluminum and each one is a turnkey, lockable system.

Several tons of hardware left our Corrales Studios Monday and Tuesday bound for NYC this week!4K multitouch table for Cooper HewittThe 84″ 4K touch tables during final testing and burn in at Ideum’s production studio in Corrales.

These new touch tables are a critical part of the Cooper Hewitt’s renovation, which will offer 60 percent more gallery space along with a more participatory museum experience. Along with the team at Cooper Hewitt, we’ve worked with Diller Scofidio + Renfro, Local Projects, and Make Simply. You can learn more about the New Cooper Hewitt Experience on their website.

We will post more photographs once the systems are in place and we get closer to the opening. The New Cooper Hewitt Experience will be open to the public on December 12, 2014. You can see more photographs of the development of these advanced touch tables on Flickr.


Ideum Touch Tables and Software at National Laboratory Day on Capitol Hill

Last week in Washington DC, Senator Dick Durbin, Senator Jim Risch, and representatives from the Department of Energy hosted National Laboratory Day on Capitol Hill. Representatives from all 17 of the National Laboratories showcased demonstration projects across “five theme areas – energy innovation and environmental sustainability, manufacturing innovations, high performance computing, national security, and discovery science.”

Two Ideum multitouch tables demonstrated Department of Energy Laboratory work.  We developed software for a 4K multitouch table with the Department of Energy to showcase several of the labs’ exciting work on the physics of the universe, from the big bang to present day.  This multiuser installation allowed participants to explore a variety of compelling imagery focused on this exciting and innovative Department of Energy Laboratory work.

In addition, Sandia National Laboratories, located nearby in Albuquerque, demonstrated an exhibit they developed with Open Exhibits on a Platform 46 multitouch drafting table. The software showed a variety of scientific visualizations with a focus on climate change. Bill Collins on Capital Hill with Ideum Touch TableNobel prize winning climate scientist, Bill Collins, using an Ideum multitouch table with Open Exhibits built software at the Dirksen building, Capitol Hill. 


Virgil Ortiz Multitouch Table Installation at SFIM14

virgil ortiz

Virgil Ortiz is a renowned artist, potter, and fashion designer from Cochiti Pueblo here in New Mexico.  His work crosses boundaries from the traditional to the experimental and explores such diverse realms as pottery, designer clothing, and electronic art. 

This week as part of Santa Fe Indian Market (#SFIM14), the Virgil Ortiz Pop Up Boutique is inside the La Fonda Hotel (August 21 to 24, 9am to 5pm). A Platform 46″ multitouch table with a custom application showing the artist’s work is part of the installation. We’re big fans of Virgil’s work and are so excited to play a small role in this fascinating installation. 

2014 marks the 93 year of the Santa Fe Indian Market bringing together an international community from all walks of life. Over 175,000 people are expected to visit Santa Fe this week for the event.

You can learn more about the Virgil Ortiz Pop Up Boutique and other events on the Virgil Ortiz website or on his Facebook page.


The Dynamic Desktop: Experimental Tangible Interfaces for Capacitive Touch Tables

Dynamic Desktop
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.


State of the Art: Discovering American Art Now

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.

We’ve posted some of the work in progress that we’ve done with Crystal Bridges to Ideum’s portfolio on Behance.

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.


Ideum created two custom screens, one a 55” Drafting TouchTable and the other a 46” Presenter TouchWall with a custom white color coating, matching the white walls of the pristine gallery setting.

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/



Multitouch Table Research Findings

Open Exhibits is a collection of software and growing community, sponsored by the National Science Foundation (NSF) to help change the way informal learning environments, such as museums, change the way they share computer-based exhibits. (Ideum is the principal organization in the Open Exhibits initiative.)There was recently an addition to the Papers section of Open Exhibits that we would like to share.  

Open Exhibits co-PI, Kate Haley Goldman and her colleague Jessica Gonzalez, conducted research at three of our partner museums (Indian Pueblo Cultural Center, The Maxwell Museum of Anthropology, and the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science) to better understand how visitors interact with multitouch tables.


Open Exhibits software running on multitouch table at the Maxwell Museum of Anthropology. The Maxwell was one of three museums in which research was conducted. The touch table shown is a (first-generation) Ideum Pro multitouch table.

The research looks at a variety of different aspects concerning visitor interaction including: dwell time, social interaction and a variety of behavioral and verbal indicators. The data suggests that for most visitors the experience is still novel, most visitors (73-82%) to our three partner institutions had not seen a multitouch table before. The stay time was longer for the table, than for any other object found in the gallery spaces. The full report can be found at: OE Multitouch Table Use Findings.

Cross posted from Open Exhibits



Ideum Multitouch Tables Featured KASA TV This Morning

This morning, Paul Lacey, Chief Technical Officer and John-Mark Collins, Producer: Creative Services were invited to visit the set of 2 KASA to showcase some of the exciting projects we have been working on. They brought a Platform 46 touch table to show our most recent work for Coca-Cola for The World Cup in Brazil.  Here are the two video segments from KASA TV.


Ideum’s New Prototyping + Usability Lab

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.

Hardware Prototyping
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.


The New Cooper-Hewitt Experience

Cooper-Hewitt Design MuseumThe Cooper-Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum will be reopening to the public on December 12, 2014 and Ideum is playing a big part in their improved visitor experience. Throughout the gallery, there will be interactive collections and exhibitions, complete with large projected capactive (pro-cap) displays, custom designed and engineered by Ideum. Along with the team at Cooper Hewitt, we are working with some great partners including: Diller Scofidio + Renfro, Local Projects, among others.

The displays at the Cooper-Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum are the world’s first fully-integrated 4K Ultra High-Definition pro-cap multitouch tables that use stylus input.  There will be 55” and 84” tables throughout the museum that will allow visitors to utilize a specialized stylus “pen” to gather information and drawings as they visit the various exhibits.  Each table will allow several users the ability to gather information at the same time.  The 55” table allows six users and the 84” will allow eight users to simultaneously utilize the table and gather personalized information.  

To learn more visit the Cooper-Hewitt website and The New York Times


Ideum Next Generation Prototypes at InfoComm in Las Vegas

During InfoComm in Las Vegas, June 18 – 20, 2014, Ideum will have several prototypes on display in the 3M booth (N2063).  Front and center is a next generation concept for the Platform 55 Multitouch table running the latest version of Android (4.4 KitKat) & Windows 8. The concept table has an amazingly thin top display design (its profile is less than an inch) and uses 3M 55″ prototype touch technology.

 3M 55" Multitouch Table Prototype

3M 55" Multitouch Table Prototype

Also on display will be our current Platform 46 Multitouch table featuring the 3M™ Multitouch display C4667PW with prototype software demo using fiducial markers on its projected capacitive touch surface.  


The fiducial marker system that will be available for demo on the Ideum Platform touch table will allow tangible interfaces with projected capacitive touch displays.  This presents new opportunities as these physical markers can be used as “game pieces” or used to identify individual users.  The physical markers are made using 3D printing technology, giving the ability to make them inexpensively and in unlimited shapes and sizes.   

In addition, attendees will be able to demo Ideum’s custom built software to play a 4-player foosball game, just in time for the FIFA World Cup.  The multiuser table top game uses Ideum’s innovative GestureWorks multitouch touch software.  

To learn more, read the full press release: InfoComm-3M-press-release-2014

For more photos, visit Flickr.  


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