Gesture Works


GestureWorks 3 Release Next Week: Good News for Flash Developers

Next Tuesday we will be release a new version of GestureWorks, our multitouch framework for ActionScript. GestureWorks 3 is an entirely new build, we started over and rebuilt it from scratch.

GestureWorks developers will have access to the most advanced multitouch authoring environment yet developed. It includes a comprehensive Gesture Visualizer, a built-in multitouch simulator, and it introduces the world’s first markup language for multitouch; Gesture ML with definitions for scores of gestures.  ActionScript developers in Flash, Flash Builder, Flash Develop, and FDT can creating powerful gesture-driven apps that can be published as SWF files, exe, or AIR apps.

In a year where there has been seemingly no positive news about Adobe Flash, we think GestureWorks is great news for Flash developers. We believe that ActionScript and Flash are important and powerful tools for application development. While HTML5 has a great deal of promise, and it will likely be increasingly important in the future; it lacks the power and flexibility that ActionScript and Flash currently provide. We need to make applications now and we’re not alone.

GestureWorks 3 was major effort here at Ideum and it represents almost a year of development. GestureWorks is primarily self-funded, however, the project did receive some important help and we are very thankful to have received $100,000 from the Venture Acceleration Fund (VAF) launched by Los Alamos National Laboratory.

The software and the new website will be unveiled next Tuesday, November 29th. We’re excited, we hope you are too.


Open Exhibits, Year Two

Our Open Exhibits multitouch software initiative has just completed its first year. Last year, we received funding from the National Science Foundation and we launched our full community site last November. We’ve learned a lot in year one and we are gearing up for an exciting second year.

If you haven’t been following developments on the Open Exhibits site, here’s an update:

The Heist project was announced today. Heist is an experimental project that uses Open Exhibits and GestureWorks software and is powered by Sensus server technology to enable effortless networking. It allows museum visitors to “steal” digital objects; easily placing them on their smart phones or tablets.

Heist: reviewing files on an iPad

The system uses a captive WiFi portal to push an HTML5 app to visitors so there is no need to download an iOS or Android app. The visitor just connects to WiFi and opens their browser. We are planning a testbed with ten museums this winter.  Learn more and check out a video of Heist.

Open Exhibits is on the road in October and November. There are presentations and workshops planned on both coasts and in Europe. We’ll be at Association of Science- Technology Center’s (ASTC) annual conference in Baltimore, the British Museum in London, and at The Tech Museum in San Jose. We will have one of our MT55 Platform Multitouch Tables at the British Museum if you want to check it out.

Work has begun on a new version of our most downloaded software module, the multitouch-enabled Collection Viewer. We’ve posted preliminary designs and have explained the new features that will become available in the new version.

Collection Viewer UI

Open Exhibits surpassed 10,000 software downloads last month and our community now has over 1,700 members. If you haven’t already done so, please join us. We are looking forward to an eventful second year.


Open Exhibits and GestureWorks Built Installations

One of great things about creating authoring software is seeing the creative things that people make with it. In the last week, we’ve come across two interesting installations; one built with GestureWorks (our commercial multitouch framework) and one developed with Open Exhibits software (the open, educational software initiative that we are leading).

Just last week week in Tech Crunch (Video: Kinect-Controlled Gigapixel Image Exploration) we saw an installation at the University of Lincoln in the UK in which visitors interact with gigapixel photographs.  The installation was developed by Sam Cox who used our Open Exhibits TUIO Kinect and Gigapixel Viewer module. He added the ability for visitors to “step switch” between gigapixel scenes. He also added ambient sound and the ability to print zoomed in scenes. Check out the video below.
You can learn more about this installation on the Gigalinc website.

Yesterday we came across an interesting three-screen kiosk installation developed by the Spinifex Group for the Sydney Theatre Company. They used GestureWorks and FDT to develop an Adobe AIR desktop application which allows visitors to learn how the Sydney Theatre Company is reducing their carbon footprint. You can learn more about this installation and see a video of it in action on


Ideum is Expanding and Moving

Ideum Studio - Outside Southwest Corner

We’re moving! Six years (in New Mexico) and two studio spaces later, Ideum is on the move again. This time we are moving into a brand new building (still in Corrales) where will consolidate all of the things we do. We will have more space for our Web and custom exhibit development teams. We will also have expanded space for hardware and software prototyping; a lab! We’ll also have a new space for multitouch table assembly, testing, and shipping.

The new building also means more space for our GestureWorks team. Expect a few big announcements concerning the GestureWorks framework later this fall. Here are some of pictures of the space. There are more on our Flickr pages.

New Studio Tour

Duct Work in the Ideum Lab Space


Open Source Release of the NASA Space Weather App for Android

Space Weather Media Viewer - Splash Screen for Android

We’ve just released the source code for the NASA Space Weather Viewer app that we developed for the Android platform. The app allows you to see today’s images of the sun along with videos and other materials from a variety of NASA science missions. The application was created in Adobe Flex and it requires Adobe AIR. You can get the source code on github (see Gestureworks/NASA Space Weather Media Viewer).

The app works on a variety of Android phones and tablets. We’ve tested the application using Android 2.2 all the way up to 3.0 (Honeycomb). The amazing NASA solar images really look great on larger tablets like the Motorola Xoom and the Samsung Galaxy.

If you want to try the free app for Android it is available in Google Android Market and in the Amazon App store. There is also an iOS native version of the Space Weather Media Viewer available on iTunes. The source code for the iOS version is also available on github (see Ideum/NASA Space Weather Media Viewer).

Finally, if you want to learn more about both of these mobile apps, we have a description and a video in our portfolio site.


Gesture – A Family of Typefaces Based on GestureWorks Supported Gestures

Our commercial multitouch SDK, GestureWorks has support for over 200 gestures. To help our users better understand what’s available in the GestureWorks software package, last year we made a poster showing most of the gestures included. The PDF poster and all of the illustrations are freely available through a Creative Commons attribution license. Now, we’ve taken a step further and have put together a font family called Gesture.

This family of typefaces includes three variations of the stroke alphabet and one font of the multitouch icons or “dingbats.”  The font is free (again through a Creative Commons attribution license).  You can find the Gesture font, poster and all of the illustrations on the GestureWorks Open Source Gesture Library page.


New Video for the MT55 Pro Multitouch Table

We’ve recently updated our video for the MT55 Pro multitouch table. There is new footage showing table custom colors: red and opal green. We also added some footage showing Tune Grid our multitouch music sequencer application built with Gestureworks.

You can learn more about the table on our MT55 Pro product page.


Tune Grid Multitouch Audio Sequencer – Now Playing

Tune Grid is a 16-step multitouch audio sequencer built with GestureWorks. It allows multiple users to create harmonic rhythms, or play sequences of notes using multitouch input. We originally conceived of the idea with our friends at the Terry Lee Wells Nevada Discovery Museum, after seeing Andre Michelle’s ToneMatrix web application.

Tune Grid now comes standard on every Ideum multitouch table. It’s a fun multi-user sound application that does a great job showing off the integrated Bose audio system found in the MT55 Pro. Below is a video showing Tune Grid in action on the MT55 Pro multitouch table. We’d love to hear your feedback.


NASA Space Weather Viewer in the Google Android Market

NASA Space Weather Viewer for AndroidThe NASA Space Weather Viewer is now available in the Google Android Market. You can download it here. Becoming a Google Developer and posting the app to the market was very simple process.

Back in November, I shared some of the difficulties we encountered developing and publishing the iOS version of the application. (By the way, I still believe, long term Apple will have difficulties with their model, but certainly Android and the iPad alternatives have stumbled quite a bit with the Honeycomb release.) Still, in the end the iOS version has been very successful (see: Over 100K Downloads for NASA Space Weather iPhone App in March).

Below is a video we made showing the NASA Space Weather Viewer running on Samsung Galaxy tablet and Android phone. The video is also embedded in app listing the Android Market.  A simple, but smart feature for previewing apps in the market.

We will let you know how the Space Weather app does in the Android Market and if we see anything like the success we’ve had in the iTunes Store.


New MT55 HD Multitouch Table Now Shipping

Late last month, we quietly introduced our new MT55 HD Multitouch Table.  Today our first production unit shipped with many more headed out this week and next. (US and Canada only for now.) The table is major step forward with a huge 55″ HD LED LCD display in a hardened case which is less than 3 inches thick!

The multitouch table is a fully integrated, hardened system and it includes an integrated HP computer with a three-year warranty. It has single button operation, integrated power and cooling, a UPS back-up system, controllable LED under-lighting, and even a Bose audio system. The table also comes with the GestureWorks multitouch SDK. (You can see the full specifications on our MT55 HD product page.)

Last week, we unveiled the MT55 HD at the Museums and the Web conference in Philadelphia. We are now preparing for the American Association of Museums (AAM) conference and we have designed an ad for the conference program. Here’s a sneak peak of the full-page MT55 HD advertisement:

MT55 Multitouch Table - Ad for the AAM Conference
This week we are working on a polished promotional video that will show off all the features of the MT55 HD. Right now, we have a short video of the MT55 HD in action and a few photographs on our Flickr site (see the MT55 HD Multitouch Table set). Watch for our promotional video, we’ll be posting it very soon.

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