by Jim Spadaccini, Founder & Creative Director
It has been nearly ten years since Ideum began building multitouch tables. Since that time, our products have rapidly—almost dizzyingly—evolved and changed as new displays and improved components became available and as our product and industrial design skills improved. Along the way, we’ve been asked to create custom versions of our touch tables or custom displays, and in some cases we’ve developed completely new and unique exhibits.
Our touch tables and displays are built out of aluminum, and most of our expertise involves that versatile and tough material. We have four metal fabricators we work with in the region who all do excellent work and can see our designs through to finished metal. Here’s a roundup of a few of our more recent custom projects.
In addition to working directly with museums, we often work with other design firms and integrators on custom projects. Recently, we designed a custom version of our Pano 100” multitouch table. (Amaze Design and Silver Oaks did the exhibit design and software development, respectively.) The Pano touch table has a custom white top and chassis (the base remained standard black), and it has six discrete audio handset stations. This giant touch table, along with some smaller coffee tables, is at the new American Writers Museum in Chicago.
Another custom project, this one currently in process, is our development of custom-designed bronze kiosks destined for the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C. The kiosks use a unique, high-resolution 38” ultra-wide touch display that we designed. (We designed a similar kiosk for Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art for an interactive exhibit on Frank Lloyd Wright on which we collaborated.)
Our own Creative Services group is designing the software and working directly with the Portrait Gallery on this exciting project. These unique custom kiosks will be featured in the new America's Presidents Gallery, opening in September 2017.
We are sometimes approached to create enclosures or housings for existing display products. The Art Institute of Chicago asked us to help design hardened enclosures and stands for the iPads and 3M 32” touchscreens they use in their galleries.
More recently, a U.S. government agency asked us to design a desktop stand and hardened enclosure for a 3M™ 32” multitouch display. And last year, we sold one of our 43” Presenter touch wall models with a similar desktop enclosure to the White House.
Finally, beyond building kiosks, stands, custom audio headsets, and other more common types of extensions for our touch displays and other products, we have created completely unique items. One case in point is the custom “telescopes” we developed with the Exploratorium’s Global Studios.
The photo below shows the final installation in Turkey’s Kocaeli Science Center. You can learn more about that installation and see works in progress on our blog.