Papers & Presentations
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.
We have a couple of conferences coming up in April and May. We will be showing our prototype 3M 46″ Platform Multitouch Table which debuted at Digital Signage Expo (DSE) in February and then went on to hit South-by-Southwest (SXSW) earlier this month. Come check it out yourself at:
|American Alliance of Museums in Baltimore, May 19-22, Come see us at Booth #501 right near the entrance to the exhibit hall. We will demo the latest Open Exhibits software. In addition, Ideum’s Jim Spadaccini will be one of the presenters for a session: Learning Together: Developing Multi-User Interactives. That session will be held, bright and early at 8:45AM on Tuesday May 21st.
Next month, I will be presenting at the WebWise Conference in Baltimore. Multitouch Collaborative Computing & Other HCI Delights will cover various aspects of multitouch and multiuser exhibit design. In addition, I will demonstrate some of the other emerging HCI technologies such as motion recognition. The workshop is scheduled for Wednesday, March 6th. Here is the description:
The popularity of multitouch‐enabled phones and tablets has shifted user expectations and changed the way computer installations are designed for public and semi‐public spaces such as: museums, libraries, schools and other places where people gather. More and more, visitors expect that screens found in public spaces are not only touchable, but are also capable of multitouch. This shift has helped expand interest in large‐scale multitouch tables and touch walls and is bringing to the forefront new and collaborative ways for users to interact.
While the rise in touch‐based mobile devices may be the catalyst for interest in large‐scale multitouch, the differences in the types of user interaction are significant. Unlike mobile devices, multitouch tables and touch walls encourage multiple users to interact simultaneously; software can be designed to encourage face‐to‐face collaboration and social interaction. The potential for informal learning around these types of installations is just beginning to be explored.
In this workshop, we will look at the physical and social nature of multitouch tables and touch walls; we will focus on the qualities of collaborative computing as multitouch technology and design models continue to evolve and mature. In addition, we will take a brief look at motion recognition and discuss how this technology and others are collectively forming a new wave in HCI (human computer interaction). A short introduction to the Open Exhibits project will also be presented.
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.
Over on the Open Exhibits website, Jeff Heywood of Vancouver Aquarium has just shared a comprehensive field study on two multitouch tables in the Canada’s Arctic gallery space. The study was developed by The InnoVis Group, Interactions Lab at the University of Calgary.
We built the tables and worked with Vancouver Aquarium back in the summer of 2009 to create the software. The report looks at the “general experience of the digital tables”, including the form factor, and then it takes a closer look at the applications.
The study shows, as Jeff points out in his post, that “not everything was a success with the tables, but they are, overall, successful.” Considering the emergent nature of these types of exhibits, we were pleased to see that the study was generally very positive.
Still, some things didn’t work as well we would have liked. There were significant usability issues with the early version of the Collection Viewer. I’m happy to report that many of the issues cited in the report have been fixed in the newer version of the Collection Viewer that is available on the Open Exhibits site. We built in the ability to easily change some of the design parameters via XML. For example, button size and spacing can be modified by changing the XML. In addition, we remapped many of the gestures, so that the Collection Viewer objects respond better to visitor interaction. Still, some issues remain and we’ll be taking a closer look at this report and making additional changes.
Studies like this are incredibly valuable (and far too rare in the field). As designers and developers, we can only learn so much through testing and observation in the studio. The museum (or aquarium) setting and the sheer number and range of different visitors provides us with a new picture of the exhibit. You can download and read the full report on the Open Exhibits website, Interactive Tables at the Vancouver Aquarium.
I just posted a case study on the ExhibitFiles website. It examines the L.A. Zone multitouch table exhibit that we developed with California Science Center and details some of the design considerations we encountered in putting this multi-user exhibit together. You can read the complete case study here.
This custom exhibit was built using Adobe Flash with our Gestureworks multitouch framework and runs on our MT-50 multitouch table. There’s also more information about this exhibit on our portfolio page: “Visitors Explore Los Angeles in a Google Maps and Flickr Mashup.“
Tomorrow, Chris Gerber and I are off to Munich for Natural User Interface’s Multi-Touch Summit 2009. The meeting at the Adobe offices in Germany will focus developing multi-touch applications with Adobe Flash, Flex, and Air. We will be presenting in the afternoon and we’ll discuss our experience in using ActionScript 3 to create interactive exhibits. We’ll also be announcing some very important news (more on that later). A schedule for the summit is available on the NUI Website.
There’s more on the summit on the Natural User Interface (NUI)’s Multi-touch Blog.
This week we will be exhibiting at the American Association of Museums (AAM) annual meeting and expo. We will have a booth (#1830) and we’ll be showing our multitouch table along with some of the custom multitouch applications we’ve developed
In addition, I am the chair for a session entitled, Open Source for Museums: The Next Experiment in Museum Technology. We have a great panel and one that represents most of the major open source initiatives in the museum world. The presenters are: Scott Sayre from Pachyderm, Tom Scheinfeldt from Omeka, Carl Goodman from CollectionSpace, and Bryan Kennedy from Science Buzz who will explain how Drupal was used in development of their site. In addition to these direct connections, some in the group (myself included) are advisors on other open source projects such as Fluid Engage and Steve.
Last year, I wrote an article for the National Association for Museum Exhibition’s Journal, Exhibitionist, where I interviewed most of the panel members about their projects. The article was reposted in the Ideum blog see Open Source Software: New Possibilities for Museums. The article has also just recently been translated into Czech and appears in Muzeum, the magazine of the Narodni Muzeum in Prague.
In the AAM session, I won’t be talking much about Open Exhibits, as we are going to focus on projects that are already fully underway. (We are resubmitting our proposal to NSF and we are are still looking for museum professionals to fill out our survey on computer interactives in museums.) I look forward to seeing some of you at AAM in Philadelphia.
Update May 5, 2009: I will be posting PDFs of the slides presented during the session. Here’s the introduction to Open Source Software: New Possibilities for Museums (PDF 900K). It includes links to all of the projects mentioned and references.
Update May 6, 2009: Two more presentations in PDF form here. Omeka: Open Source Web Publishing for Museums (PDF 2Megs) by Tom Scheinfeldt and Museum Open Source: Make or Break – Pachyderm Retrospective (PDF 740K) by Scott Sayre.
After months of prototyping, we’ve finally released our multitouch table. It has been quite a process as we’ve gone through several iterations to develop a version of the touch table that is exhibit ready. The final table has a high-resolution display (higher than Microsoft Surface) and it is built rugged, so it can handle just about any environment, including hands on science centers. In fact, we tested the table at the Don Harrington Discovery Center in Amarillo, Texas. Here’s a picture of the table in the Ideum studio. (You can see all of the specifications, a press release, and short video on the MT Table page.)
For our first multi-touch application we are creating a mashup using Yahoo! Maps and Flickr. This mashup is being developed with the Don Harrington Discovery Center and Vulcan Park and Museum (located in Birmingham, Alabama). They’ve been great partners as we’ve worked through the conceptual and design challenges that a multitouch, multiuser application presents. You can learn more about this multitouch mashup project on our portfolio. We’ll be installing the tables in March.
We’ll be showing the table and the mashup application in April at Museums and the Web 2009 in Indianapolis. We will have an exhibit booth and we will be holding a full-day workshop called, “Make It Multitouch.” We hope to see you there.
Paul Lacey and I will be conducting a full-day workshop on multi-touch and multi-user exhibits at this year’s Museums and the Web Conference. We’ll be bringing along our multi-touch table as well as some gesture enabled desktop computers. This should be an interesting day of activities and discussions. Here’s the introduction to the description of the workshop…
“Multi-touch and multi-user exhibits have the potential to fundamentally change the ways in which visitors interact with computer-based exhibits in museums. Through the use of intuitive gestures, visitors are saved from the need to learn graphic tools or figure out how to activate responses. These exhibits allow designers to move away from traditional graphical user interfaces and toward a set of more natural and intuitive controls.”
Update February 4, 2009: We’ve released our multitouch table you can check out a video and get the full specifications.