This week the Beta site for the Informal Science website (beta.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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Ideum 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.
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.
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.
Later this spring, I will be teaching a course on exhibit development for the Cultural Resource Management Program at the University of Victoria. The course will be held in Toronto at the Ontario Science Centre from April 22-24. It is a blended course, so an online component proceeds the three days, starting on April 9. You can learn more about, Emerging Exhibits: Exploring New Models of Human Computer Interaction (HCI) and register on the UVIC Website. (FYI, when I taught the course at the Museum of Vancouver last fall it sold out fast.) Here’s a short description of the course:
Computer-based interactive exhibits are undergoing a major transformation. The lone, single-user kiosk is now being replaced by multi-touch tables and walls, motion-sensing spaces, networked installations, and RFID-based exhibits. Advances in augmented reality, speech recognition, eye tracking, and other technologies promise even more radical change for exhibits in the near future.
Collectively these new technologies represent a fundamental advance in Human Computer Interaction (HCI). This course will look at a new generation of computer-based exhibits that are more physical, more intuitive, and have more social qualities than their predecessors.
The new models for HCI provide us with opportunities to rethink how technology is used in museums and other public spaces. Computer technology is on the cusp of finally living up to its promise in the museum world, providing a platform for developing compelling and authentic experiences for the public.
We’re pleased to announce the release of the Ideum MT65 Presenter multitouch wall display. The MT65 Presenter is a huge 65” interactive display with a 3D LCD, robust multitouch sensor, ultra-clear tempered glass, a powerful integrated computer, built-in audio, and webcam housed inside a hardened aluminum case.
The Presenter is easy to install and maintain, virtually indestructible, and works in practically any ambient lighting environment. The integrated touch sensor supports up to 32 simultaneous touch points for multiple user exhibits. The 4” thin Presenter is protected by hardened 3mm tempered glass and a vandal-proof metal housing.
The Presenter features a 65” 3D LCD display with full HD resolution and flicker-free FPR 3D imaging that uses an LED backlight rated for 50,000 hours. The massive interactive display is over 2.5 times larger than the
Microsoft Surface 2.
The powerful built-in computer features an Intel® Core™ i7 CPU, 8GB of RAM, Solid State Hard Drive, and a discrete GPU, making the Presenter more than three times faster than the
Surface 2.0, and likely to outperform any other touchscreen on the market.
The MT65 Presenter includes built-in WIFI, Bluetooth, and Ethernet connectivity. It also features stereo speakers, an external HD webcam with Carl Zeiss® optics and a stereo microphone. The Presenter has HDMI input/output that allows you to easily mirror the device’s display, or it can receive input from another device.
An optional locking plate secures the Presenter’s Ethernet, HDMI, 3.5mm Audio in/out, and USB 2.0 ports against unwanted access. Similar to Ideum’s MT55 Series of multitouch tables, the Presenter features single-button operation. Just plug it in and turn it on.
Every MT65 Presenter ships with a full, lifetime, licensed copy of GestureWorks 3 for ActionScript. GestureWorks® for ActionScript provides streamlined multitouch authoring for multitouch walls, tables, desktops, tablets, and embedded devices. You’ll save precious development time and have access to pre-built gestures and the world’s first markup language for multitouch: GestureML. In addition, GestureWorks® SDK has a powerful touch point cluster analysis system, a built-in simulator, and includes access to pre-built modules.
For more information, please download and read the MT65 Presenter Press Release.
MT65 Presenter Press Release
(Updated: 01-17-12) (49kb)
You can also read about the MT65 Presenter on Engadget
Early next month, 100 Years of State & Federal Policy: The Impact on Pueblo Nations exhibition opens at the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The exhibit is tied to the state of New Mexico’s Centennial which happens this year. We’ve been working with the Cultural Center to develop two interactive exhibits for the exhibition. We’re designing the software and hardware, the Cultural Center has been been developing media including a series of videos for the exhibit.
The Document Table is a multitouch table exhibit that allows visitors to learn more about the important events that have impacted the Pueblo Nations over the last 100 years. Along with exploring the documents, visitors can view them on a large, 55″ secondary screen adjacent to the table. (The multitouch table is an MT55 Platform with custom color.)
The Interactive Timeline is a dual monitor exhibit that uses a custom-built, touch-enabled ultra-wide display to present the timeline. (The ultra-wide display has a 16:4.5 aspect ratio, 1920 x 508 pixels, you can see a photo of touch display on our Flickr site.) As visitors make selections a large 42″ display presents video, photos, and descriptive text. Both exhibits are using software components from Open Exhibits.
These two interactive exhibits will help communicate the overall message of the exhibition:
This exhibition and its public programming will reflect upon the human experience behind enacted policies and laws on Pueblo communities by other governments. It will add to a well-documented history of Pueblo resilience since the time of Emergence. Interviews with Pueblo members will provide visitors with historical and personal reflections to help them understand and appreciate these historic challenges, often imposed through policy and laws, all intended to purposefully remove Pueblo people away from their core values.
The opening is on February 4, 2012 at 1:00 PM. There are a number of events associated with the exhibition planned through the rest of the year. You can learn more on the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center website: www.indianpueblo.org/100years
Last week I spoke at The Tech Museum’s Interfaces for the New Decade Conference and Gallery Opening. It was a great opportunity to meet and connect with folks from many of the Bay Area museums (and local companies) who share the same interest in new HCI (Human Computer Interaction) technologies. Along with the day-long conference there was an evening Gallery opening which unveiled The Tech Test Zone exhibit.
At the opening party we demoed Heist, our experimental project that allows digital objects to be shared from a multitouch table to visitor’s smart phones and tablets. We brought a MT55 Platform multitouch table for the demo and conference.
While Heist is not part of the permanent exhibit our Open Exhibit’s Kinect and Gigapixel Viewer software is. Visitors to the Test Zone can use gestures to navigate an amazing gigapixel image of Yosemite taken by xRez Studio. This Open Exhibits software exhibit is among the first installations in our year-old National Science Foundation sponsored project. (You can join Open Exhibits for free.)
CNET News has pictures of all of the exhibits including our and their Website, see Future tech exhibit plugs museum interactivity.