Jul 18, 2011

Emerging Interactive Multimedia, New Models of HCI for Museum Exhibits (Course offered by Ideum's Jim Spadaccini, plus info about the MT55 multi-touch table)

Jim Spadaccini, the director and founder of Ideumwill be teaching a course on exhibit development through the University of Victoria, "Emerging Exhibits: Exploring New Models of Human Computer Interaction (HCI).  The excerpt from the course description provides a glimpse of how emerging technologies are beginning to change the museum experience:

"Computer-based interactive exhibits are undergoing a major transformation. The lone, single-user kiosk is now being replaced by multitouch tables and walls, motion-capture spaces, networked installations, and RFID-based exhibits. Advances in augmented reality, voice recognition, eye tracking, and other technologies promise even more radical change for exhibits in the near future."

I've been following Jim's journey with Ideum, a multimedia design firm that collaborates with museums and related non-profits, for many years, and I am impressed with the work of this company.  In addition to his work at Ideum,  Jim serves as the Principal Investigator of a National-Science Foundation sponsored open-source exhibit software project, Open Exhibits, which provides a free software development kit that supports the creation of multi-touch and multi-user software applications for museums and educational settings.

I'm happy to put in a plug for Ideum's latest product, the MT55 Platform Multi-Touch Table. It incorporates a range of features that I'm sure will meet the needs of museum visitors.  In my opinion, this table would be a fantastic resource for all types of libraries, including those in K-12 settings.

The MT55 Platform Multi-touch Table, from Ideum

The MT55 Platform Multitouch Table from Ideum on Vimeo.  (Note: This video features music by Moby, the track "Sevastopol" on his current album, Destroyed. The music was used with the artists' permission. Learn more at: moby.com") - Ideum

"The thinnest, largest, most powerful multitouch table available.The MT55 Platform multitouch table houses a powerful computer and a 55-inch interactive LCD display that responds to 32 touch-points, inside a rugged aluminum body."

"The bright 55″ 1920×1080 HD display has a 5,000,000:1 contrast ratio. A wide 178-degree viewing angle accommodates multiple users around the table. The optical multitouch system supports 32 simultaneous touch points for collaborative interaction. The system is multitouch-enabled from start-up, and runs Windows 7 64-bit professional edition."

"The integrated computer is packed with power. It contains an Intel® Hyper-Threaded DualCore i5® which runs at 2.66 GHz, 8GB of RAM, and a 128 GB solid-state drive (upgradeable to an i7®)."

"The table comes complete with WIFI, Bluetooth, and Ethernet connectivity. It also has multiple HDMI outputs that allow you to easily mirror the table's display, extend the desktop, or connect to and display from another computer or HDMI device."

"Convenient, but secure ports: CAT5, HDMI, and USB 2.0 are available on both the side on bottom the table."

"The MT55 Platform includes blue LED under-lights to illuminate the area beneath the interactive surface (custom LED colors are available). Every MT table includes a sophisticated internal cooling cell to maintain operating conditions that exceed the optimum environmental specifications for the internal components."

"The interactive surface of the MT55 Platform protected by a sheet of hardened, crystal clear, low-iron 5mm tempered glass surface...
As an option, we offer Sevasa HapticGlas®, produced exclusively for Ideum. Micro-etched HapticGlas® provides tactile feedback, reduces fingerprints, increases scratch resistance, and directs user focus." -Ideum

High-res photos of the MT55 Platform

GestureWorks Software
Open Exhibits
Open Exhibits Tuio Kinect

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