During the height of the pandemic, Ideum received funding for a touchless initiative as part of Intel's Pandemic Response Technology Initiative. We focused on designing new touchless devices along with software that would provide users with the necessary feedback to easily engage with digital interactives without touch.
Out of that work, we developed the Touchless Pedestal and launched an open source software initiative called Touchless.Design. The project achieved some success, and went on to win the top prize at the Beyond Touchscreens Developer Competition sponsored by Ultraleap.
Today, I’m thrilled to announce the third version of our Touchless Pedestal and a new multiuser version of Touchless.Design.
Our new software allows multiple Touchless Pedestal devices to connect to a single application. Now, multiple users can interact together, touchlessly, in large video wall or projection environments. So far we have tested the touchless.design software with three devices, and theoretically there isn’t a limit the number of touchless devices connected. In addition, we have made multiple performance enhancements and improvements to both the software and the device itself.
The Touchless Pedestal has a new sleek look. It comes with a freestanding base, but the pedestal can also be mounted directly to the floor without a base. It has a new, larger 5.5” AMOLED HD touch display built into the unit which, along with the LED lights, provides important feedback for users. Like all of our hardware, it is rugged and secure with a lockable I/O box. The Touchless Pedestal is finished in a durable and handsome solid surface material, and available in black or white. You can learn more about the Touchless Pedestal on our website, or you can reach out to our sales team directly.
While Ideum is well known for our touch displays and touch tables, we have been working with touchless technology for a decade. In fact, our pandemic work with Intel was based in part on early work we did with Intel’s RealSense cameras back in 2015. Additionally, around the same time, we worked with many of our museum clients on full-body motion tracking for interactive environments and experiences.
Our design approach has always been focused on the advantages and disadvantages that are inherent in these technologies. Even as the pandemic's restrictions ease, there will always be a place for touchless technology in public spaces, particularly in large, immersive projection environments.
Making large projection (or video wall) environments interactive presents a number of challenges. While touch can be utilized in some settings, it doesn’t work in the largest settings where a visitor's proximity to a projection wall or large display makes it difficult to view the entire scene. Touchless devices can be set back, and with their minimal footprint, they can keep projection spaces largely open while encouraging visitor interaction. Multiuser interaction is a much better match for these large open and dynamic spaces.
We've long known that interaction is one of the keys to visitor satisfaction in public spaces. Give visitors agency and an opportunity for social interaction in multiuser setting, and they will spend more time at an exhibit and get more out of it.
We look forward to designing future experiences using the Touchless Pedestal and Touchless.Design. We are also excited to see what our clients and partners can develop by incorporating this versatile new toolset.