The Association of Science – Technology Centers (ASTC) is holding their annual conference in Albuquerque, New Mexico from October 19-22. With the conference here in our state, we have a lot planned. First off, we are sharing a booth with the Open Exhibits project. We have two booths in fact (#201/300) and we will be hard to miss as we are right in front of entrance two at the exhibit hall.
In addition to the booths, we will be presenting at two sessions: Existing in Two Worlds Pecha Kucha and Engaging Visitors with Disabilities in STEM Learning. In the first session, we will present lessons learned from the Human Computer Interaction in Informal Science Education (HCI+ISE) Conference held earlier this year. In the second, we will explain our work in the Creating Museum Media for Everyone (CMME) project to build in accessibility tools within Open Exhibits.
Finally, we are having a party and you’re invited (if you are attending ASTC, of course). We will be hosting this party Monday October 21st at the Ideum studios in conjunction with the Exhibitionist Journal (published by the National Association for Museum Exhibition, NAME). Stop by our booth at ASTC and we’ll give you a party pass!
Mariachi Nuevo Sonido will be playing at the Ideum studio party which will include New Mexico food and beverages. We will also be showing off our new multitouch tables including our new Platform 46 and Platform 32 and 46 multitouch coffee tables.
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).
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.
Our first Platform 46 Multitouch Coffee Tables are shipping out this week. This first wave of multitouch coffee tables are going to a pair of universities that will be placing them in student learning centers and lounges.
We’re excited to see these tables ship-off to their higher learning destinations. They’ll be put to the test by in-coming fall ’13 students! That’s okay, we know these tables are up to the challenge.
See the Platform 46 coffee table in action in the video below:
Learn more about the Platform 46 Multitouch Coffee Table with integrated 3M displays.
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 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.