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Visitors Hold History in their Hands with Experimental Fabrication Project

Multitouch displays built into custom podiums with pressure-sensitive panels combine the physical and the digital to create new kinds of compelling experiences.
Authored by
Darold Ross
Senior Producer of Project Management

Ideum continues to experiment and expand our capabilities in the area of custom fabrication with opportunities to create new bespoke experiences that further enhance the relationship between space and exhibit.

For this exhibit, we expanded on the concept of revealing a “hidden message” that we first visited in an interactive retail experience, and designed a custom interactive to make the physical object a tangible part of the experience. This proof of concept centers around the idea that visitors can touch the object on display—and indeed, that to explore the object more deeply, they should. Though many museum projects may not include artifacts that can be handled by visitors, adding reproductions or other non-valuable representations to the experience can surprise and excite visitors in new ways.

The visitor approaches a custom free-standing kiosk upon which rests an object (in this case, a replica of Asian pottery). The touch screen prompts the visitor to pick the object up. When the visitor lifts the pottery, a pressure-sensitive plate hidden in the base activates an LED that surprises the visitor with a message about the pot in a scrolling marquee. At the same time, the screen comes to life with a navigable interactive exploring the history, geographic area, and artistic style of the artifact. A content-viewer application allows the visitor to tap through related information and imagery while having the objet d'art in hand to study.

These custom kiosks were designed by Ideum’s Industrial Design team to enclose a touch-capable public display and a custom-created pressure-sensitive LED display. We now have the capability to do all of the integration and fabrication in house. Our fabrication facility in downtown Corrales is completely furnished with a full range of woodworking and metalworking tools. It is also staffed by a team of experienced builders and exhibit technicians. This space allows us to design, manufacture, and customize unique exhibits and smart furniture with embedded displays. The fabrication space is also used to stage and test full-size AV experiences, such as immersive video walls and large-scale projection installations, before being shipped to their final destination.

To see more of Ideum’s innovative projects, visit our portfolio.