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.
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.
The Association of Science-Technology Centers (ASTC) will be hosting its annual conference October 13-16 in Columbus, Ohio. Ideum and Open Exhibits will be sharing a booth (#709) and showing off multitouch and arduino-based hardware and software. (You can learn more on the OE website, see: What is Open Exhibits?)
In our booth you can check out the new Platform multitouch table running a variety of Open Exhibits software modules. The Platform is a completely integrated touch table with a 55″ LCD. It supports up to 40 touch points and is 2″ thin. It is the thinnest commercially available multitouch table in the world. With the release of Open Exhibits 2.5 this fall, we will have a lot of new multitouch software to show at ASTC.
We are also planning on demoing our arduino module for Adobe ActionScript and Open Exhibits. This free software module makes it easy to incorporate sensors, lights, buttons, dials, and other peripherals into computer-based exhibits.
We hope see you at ASTC in October! We will also be at the Interactive Tabletops and Surfaces conference, ITS 2012, in Boston in November. We will post more information about that conference very soon.
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.
The MT65 Presenter is an integrated and hardened 65″ LED HD multitouch display. It is multitouch enabled from start-up and has a powerful CPU and dedicated GPU inside. It is a plug-and-play touch wall, ready for museums, public places, research labs, retail spaces, and other tough environments. We recently released a video to highlight many of the Presenter’s core features and benefits.
Let us know what you think, we’d love to hear your feedback.
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
Ideum is fortunate to work with a network of some of the best multitouch designers and developers in the world. This holiday season, we are particularly thankful for our Developer Partners.
We’d love to program every computer-based exhibit that comes our way, but we don’t always have the capacity. In those situations, our partners are an integral component to the success of the MT55 multitouch table, and the satisfaction of our clients.
If you are searching for a firm to design and develop your next multi-touch application or interactive exhibit, we highly recommend contacting one of our partners. To view a list of our partners, and recent installations please visit our Partner Page.
Interested in becoming a partner? The Ideum Developer Partner Program allows you to offer your clients the best multitouch tables available with exclusive hardware discounts, free software, marketing opportunities and other benefits. If you would like to apply, please contact us.
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.
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.
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.