Ideum is raising the bar on the types of multitouch experiences that can be designed and built on our 55” and 65” Ultra High Definition (UHD) 4K Pro, Platform and Duet PCAP touch tables. Our newest SDK, Tangible Engine, is an intuitive and highly optimized authoring package that simplifies the process of building applications with object recognition on multitouch tables. Tangible Engine 1.0 is the first SDK available that works with projected-capacitive touch screens. It does not require cameras or optical devices. If you are a developer or a designer looking to create interactive experiences involving real world objects, Tangible Engine will save you valuable development time and jump start your project.
Our tangibles, also referred to as fiducials, are made with a rubberized polymer material infused with specifically patterned nodes of conductive materials. Tangible Engine recognizes the pattern when the tangible is placed on the touch screen, thereby activating content and creating an innovative way to engage with applications.
Configuring your Tangibles
Tangible Engine consists of a Configurator / Visualizer utility and an SDK which allows developers to quickly and easily train the tangible objects to connect to the touch table surface. The Configurator / Visualizer enables tangible object customization, and developers can introduce new tangibles and edit important attributes, e.g. the name, id, or object radius. We provide the source-code of the Configurator / Visualizer, allowing developers to better understand how the system works. Tangible Engine comes bundled with the tangible object tracker and documentation.
Tangible Engine is for sale with purchase of any of our compatible touch tables, currently the 55” and 65” UHD 4K Pro, Platform and Duet models. Five tangible objects are included with each purchase, allowing developers to get started right away. In addition, instructions for 3D printing, including STL files for two tangibles and a list of conductive printing materials, are provided. Ideum will be adding new features to Tangible Engine in the near future and updates will be readily available.
Tangible Engine in Action
In 2015, Ideum developed a robust version of the software and built an interactive wine tasting experience with JCB Wines. Just prior to the 1.0 release of Tangible Engine, Ideum developed an interactive coffee experience with Starbucks that seamlessly integrates tangibles with gorgeous design.
Learn more about Tangible Engine and see the video here: tangibleengine.com
Contact us to learn more about Tangible Engine software, Ideum multitouch hardware, and how our Creative Services team can work with you to build bespoke multitouch applications and experiences.
At Ideum, we’ve updated our sales showroom to include full videoconferencing capabilities. With the addition of new hardware production space and expansion into another building, we had the opportunity to enhance our sales showroom with a permanent videoconferencing setup. This allows potential clients interested in Ideum products to participate in active demonstrations with our sales staff or software producers. Our team can now easily show not only our multitouch tables and touch walls, but also our custom exhibit projects and interactive software.
Currently on display in the videoconference showroom are a Drafting Table 55 and a Platform 55. To schedule a demonstration with Ideum, please contact email@example.com, call (505) 792-1110 ext.1, or call toll-free (855) 898-6824.
Innovation New Mexico, presented by Albuquerque Business First, recognizes New Mexico companies that have created and commercialized innovative new products, processes and services in the past 24 months. Ideum’s Platform 65″ 4K UHD capacitive touch multitouch table was nominated. The event took place Thursday, May 25, 2016 in Civic Plaza in downtown Albuquerque.
What makes our Platform 65″ 4K UHD multitouch table so innovative? Ideum is the first to offer a 65″ 4K touch display with 3M multitouch technology. This expansive screen is water-resistant, supports 60 simultaneous touch points, and allows up to 4 people to easily interact with the table at the same time. It comes complete with a full-featured and powerful integrated Intel® Core™ i7 quad core computer and single push-button power. Designed and built in New Mexico, the display case and chassis are made out of aircraft grade aluminum making the touch table perfect for demanding public spaces. The touch table comes complete with the GestureWorks software framework, a multitouch authoring software development kit developed by Ideum.
Our durable touch tables are changing the visitor experience at museums, schools, in retail, and other public and semi-public spaces. In addition, our Platform 65″ multitouch table supports our proprietary software, which recognizes tangible markers. This technology was recently used in experiences built for Starbucks (see video below) and a Napa Valley Winery.
This coming fall I’m teaching a new course: History of the Appalachian Trail. As envisioned, the class is going to be many things at once (which is likely a structural problem). It is a conventional history of one of America’s longest national parks, it is a chance to introduce students to the basics of digital public history, and it is a chance for me to connect my avocation (long distance backpacking) with my vocation (educator, historian).
Today I want to focus on just one part of the course — the part that in some ways I’m the most excited about. Across the hallway from my office is a long, blank, pale blue wall. When I say long, I mean 82 feet long with not one thing on it except a thermostat sort of a small plastic box. This blank wall has bugged me for years, because we’re a university for goodness sake, and such a wall should be covered with student art, or history student research posters, or SOMEthing besides pale blue paint. Now I’m glad no one ever thought to do any of that stuff with what I now think of as “my wall,” because it is going to become the canvas for my students.
For their final projects, students in the class are going to create an Omeka exhibit for the website I’m developing (no formatting yet, so don’t judge) on the history of the Appalachian Trail. But they are also going to paint the Trail onto my wall. And yes, before you ask, I have permission from the powers that be in facilities to do that. Given that the wall is 82 feet long and the Trail is 2,190 miles long (this year), that works out to a scale of around 27 miles: 1 foot. That seems like a reasonable scale to me. Right now. Today.
Once we get the Trail painted on my wall, students will then attach connection points to their own work — images of people, or places, or texts, or whatever, along with QR codes that let passersby dive into the online exhibits themselves.
That’s the plan anyway. From a technological standpoint, it’s not a complicated plan. From a pedagogical standpoint, I have a fair amount of work to do this summer to make sure mys students have all the tools they need to succeed.
And yes, we’ll be doing some hiking…
Ideum recently installed a series of interactives for a new exhibition at the Lowell Observatory Visitor Center in Flagstaff, AZ. The exhibition takes the form of a fictional school, Space Guard Academy, where visitors register as cadets and learn all about asteroids through a series of interactives and media pieces. As cadets progress through each interactive they add points to their score, earn higher ranks, and gather badges for specific areas of content. Cadets start out by registering for Space Guard Academy. They first choose a cadet name, and then receive a printed ID card they will use throughout the exhibition to scan in to the other activities so that their progress can be tracked.
After registration, visitors can flow freely through the space but often first encounter an application about the orbital resonances of Jupiter. Further on, the asteroid impacts interactive explores the history of asteroids hitting the earth, and then tests cadets’ knowledge of different asteroid types, how frequently they hit the planet, and how much damage they do. Other activities Ideum developed for Space Guard Academy include the asteroid photometry interactive, in which cadets learn to match an asteroid’s size and shape with its light curve. An astrographs activity simulates a blink comparator, a tool for comparing multiple images of the sky used to identify moving objects such as asteroids.
The final quiz checks knowledge about all aspects of the Space Guard Academy, and snaps a picture of the visitor “in uniform.” A final “Hall of Fame” shows off everyone’s picture, rank, score, and badges.
Space Guard Academy opened to the public on May 22, 2016 and will remain at Lowell Observatory for about a year and a half. Ideum designed and developed the tracking system, six interactives, and the “hall of fame” display in collaboration with the team from Lowell. We will share more images and details about the project soon in our portfolio.
At this year’s InfoComm International, June 8-10, we’ll be featuring the Duet 55″, our 4K Ultra High Definition (UHD) Coffee Table, in the 3M™ Touch Systems Booth (no. N1947). This 4th generation coffee table redesign utilizes 3M™ projected-capacitive (P-Cap) technology on its expansive 55″ display that is large enough to support up to four users.
We’ll also be demonstrating cutting edge fiducial marker software on the Duet 55″ with our JCB Tasting Salon experience. This wine tasting application uses 3D-printed wine glass bases with capacitive capability that interact with our software to identify individual wines.
Ideum staff will be on-hand in the 3M™ booth on Wednesday, June 8th. Come and meet us and see our amazing new hardware and innovative software. Get a preview of the Duet 55″ Coffee Table below:
Last month I wrote an article for The Atlantic on the state of the digital divide, the surprisingly high rate of device (smartphone and tablet) adoption at all socio-economic strata, and what these new statistics mean for ebooks and reading. An excerpt:
According to Common Sense, 51 percent of teenagers in low-income families have their own smartphones, and 48 percent of tweens in those families have their own tablets. Note that these are their own devices, not devices they have to borrow from someone else. Among middle-income families (that is, between $35,000 and $100,000), 53 percent of tweens have their own tablets and 69 percent of teenagers have their own smartphones, certainly higher but by a lot less than one might imagine.
If we pull back and look at households in general, the gap narrows in other ways. This winter, the Joan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame Workshop published the first nationally representative telephone survey of lower-income parents on issues related to digital connectivity. The study, conducted by the research firm SSRS, included nearly 1,200 parents with school-aged children, interviewed in both Spanish and English, via landlines and cell phones. It was weighted to be representative of the American population.
In this comprehensive survey, a striking 85 percent of families living below the poverty line have some kind of digital device, smartphone or tablet, in their household. Seventy-three percent had one or more smartphones, compared to 84 percent for families above the poverty line. These are vastly changed numbers from just a few years ago. A 2011 study by Common Sense showed that in lower-income (under $30,000) households with children, only 27 percent of them had a smartphone, compared to 57 percent for households with children and income over $75,000.
It’s worth pondering the significance of these new numbers, and how we might be able to leverage widespread device adoption to increase reading. My conclusion:
We must do everything we can to connect kids with books. Print books, ebooks, library books, bookstores—let’s have it all. Let’s give children access to books whenever and wherever, whether it’s a paperback in the backpack, or a phone in the back pocket.
[Read the full article at The Atlantic.]
Ideum is pleased to introduce Linux multitouch authoring support for displays and touch tables with 3M™ Touch Technology.
Ideum is the only company to offer a truly robust multitouch authoring solution for Linux on 3M™ touch technology. If your preferred OS is Ubuntu, you can now develop multitouch applications for large displays and multitouch tables. By detaching the touch screen from the kernel driver, Ideum’s touch service is able to get data as fast as the touch screen can supply. With this simplification, Ideum has greatly enhanced multitouch responsiveness and capability. The software also bypasses potentially undesirable multitouch gestures at the operating system level, providing developers with the freedom to override unwanted interactions.
The Ideum touch service is configurable to provide data via the TUIO 1.1 protocol and UNIX domain sockets. It supports over 60 touch points and has very low CPU usage.
Currently providing support for Ubuntu, Ideum will be adding more distributions, such as Arch Linux, Linux Mint, Debian and openSUSE soon. Stay tuned!
Check out our youtube video showing application on Unbutu:
Over the past academic year, I’ve been fortunate to participate in Rice’s Mellon-sponsored Sawyer Seminar on Platforms of Knowledge, where we’ve examined platforms for authoring, annotation, mapping, and social networking. We’ve discussed both the possibilities that platforms may open up for inquiry, public engagement and scholarly communications and the risks that they may pose for privacy and nuanced humanistic analysis. Inspired by the questions raised by the Seminar, my colleague Sean Smith and I are studying a platform used by a number of digital humanists: GitHub. Digital humanists employ GitHub not only for code, but also for writing projects, syllabi, websites, and other scholarly resources. We’ll present our initial findings at Digital Humanities 2016, but I wanted to offer some background to the study, especially since some of you will soon be receiving emails from me inviting you to participate in it.
Initially I was interested in using GitHub for a case study of how we assess and select digital platforms. Even as many researchers (myself included) rely on digital platforms, I haven’t been able to find many clear rubrics for evaluating them. Building on Quinn Dombrowski’s recommendations for choosing a platform for a web project, we are looking at criteria such as functionality and ease of use. In previous work examining archival management systems, I learned how important it is to talk with users about their experience with tools, so we will be conducting a survey and interviews about GitHub. Sean and I also also realized that GitHub itself provides valuable data about how people use GitHub, such as information about collaboration, code re-use, and connections to others. Our study will thus include analysis of publicly available data about selected GitHub users and repositories. (Of course, there is significant prior work on this topic in fields such as social computing that we will draw upon.)
With this project, we are:
We may also contact people whose emails aren’t in the GitHub data but are otherwise available.
We want to conduct this study openly while at the same respecting privacy. In conducting interviews for past studies, I’ve been frustrated that I can’t publicly identify and credit people who have made brilliant comments because of the promise of confidentiality. So we’re giving interviewees the option to make all or some of their interview notes public–but of course they can instead keep the notes private and remain anonymous. Survey data will be anonymized but ultimately shared.
Here are important documents related to our study:
I welcome feedback and questions about this study. I hope that it will contribute to developing criteria for evaluating platforms like GitHub and offer insights into how digital humanities researchers and developers work.
As the Chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities, William Adams, noted at the beginning of last night’s Jefferson Lecture, Ken Burns was an extraordinarily apt choice to deliver this honorary talk in the celebratory 50th year of the Endowment. Tens of millions of Americans have viewed his landmark documentaries on the Civil War, jazz, baseball, and other topics pivotal to U.S. history and culture.
Burns began his talk with a passionate defense of the humanities. The humanities and history, by looking at bygone narratives and especially by listening to the voices of others from the past—and showing their faces in Burns’s films, as Chairman Adams helpfully highlighted—prod us to understand the views of others, and thus, we hope, expand our capacity for tolerance. We have indeed lost the art of seeing through others’ eyes—perspective-taking—to disastrous results online and off. It was good to hear Burns’s fiery rhetoric on this subject.
His sense that the past is still so very present, especially the deep scar of slavery and racism, was equally powerful. As Burns reminded us, the very lecture he was giving was named after a Founder and American president who owned a hundred people and who failed to liberate even one during his lifetime.
While there were many grand and potent themes to Burns’s lecture, and many beautiful and haunting phrases, in my mind the animating and central element in his talk was a personal story, and a person. And it is worth thinking more about that smaller history to understand Burns’s larger sense of history. (Before reading further, I encourage you to read the full lecture, which is now up on the NEH website.)
* * *
When Burns was just a small boy, only 9 years old, his mother became terminally ill with cancer, and the family needed help as their lives unraveled. His father hired Mrs. Jennings, an African-American woman who was literally from the other side of the tracks in Newark, Delaware. Burns clearly bonded strongly with Mrs. Jennings; he loved her as a “surrogate mother” and someone who loved him and stood strong for him in a time of great stress and uncertainty.
Then came a moment that haunts Burns to this day, a moment he admits to thinking about every week for over 50 years. His father took a job at the University of Michigan, in part so that his deteriorating wife could get medical care at the university hospital. The family would have to move. They packed up, and on the way out of town, took a final stop at Mrs. Jennings’ house. As Burns recounts the moment:
She greeted us warmly, as she always did, but she was also clearly quite upset and worried to see us go, concerned about our family’s dire predicament. Just as we were about to head off for the more than twelve-hour drive to our new home, Mrs. Jennings leaned into the back of the car to give me a hug and kiss goodbye. Something came over me. I suddenly recoiled, pressed myself into the farthest corner of the back seat, and wouldn’t let her.
Burns sees this moment, which he had never recounted publicly before last night and which immediately hushed the audience, as a horrific emergence of racism in his young self. Internalizing the “n-word” that was used all around him in the early 1960s, he couldn’t bring himself, at this crucial moment, to simply lean forward and hug and kiss Mrs. Jennings.
In this way, and in this story, Ken Burns’s Jefferson lecture was, perhaps more than anything, a plea for forgiveness. In the largely white audience, you could sense, at that tense, core moment of his talk, the self-recognition of those in the darkness, who knew that they, too, had had moments like Ken’s—a deep-seated inability to treat a black friend or colleague or neighbor with the humanity they deserved and desired.
* * *
Upon further reflection, I think there is something in the story of Ken Burns and Mrs. Jennings that Burns may not have fully articulated, but that, even through his painful self-criticism, he may understand.
That moment of “recoil” is, I believe, more emotionally complex. Undoubtedly it includes the terrible mark of racism that Burns identified. But he was also a 9-year-old boy whose mother was dying, who was being driven away from his childhood home, the address of which he still remembers by heart as a 62 year old.
Young children respond to intensely stressful moments in ways that adults cannot understand. Surely Ken’s recoil also included feelings of not wanting to leave, not wanting to acknowledge that he was being driven away from all that he knew, with another, certain, grim loss on the horizon. Perhaps most of all, Ken didn’t want to be separated from someone he deeply loved as a human being: Mrs. Jennings. Kids don’t have the same coping mechanisms or situational behavior that adults have. Sometimes when they don’t want to affirm the horror of their present, they retreat into themselves. I hope that Ken Burns can let that possibility in, and begin to forgive himself, as much as he wishes that Mrs. Jennings and his father, who lashed out at him for his recoil, could return and do the forgiving.
If he can begin to forgive himself and recognize the complex feelings of that moment, then the story of Ken Burns and Mrs. Jennings can serve as both an example of the cruel, ongoing impact of racism in the United States, and also as a source of how change happens, albeit all too slowly. Surely Ken Burns’s unconscious reflection on this moment with Mrs. Jennings has been writing itself, subliminally, into his documentaries, and through them, into our own views of American history.
Burns mentioned toward the end of the lecture how African-American pioneers and geniuses such as Louis Amstrong and Jackie Robinson changed the racial views of many white Americans. But just as important, and perhaps more so, are the more complicated, daily interactions such as that between boyhood Ken Burns and Mrs. Jennings, experiences in which cold, dehumanizing stereotyping battles warm, humanizing sentiment. It takes constant work from us all for the latter to win.
[With thanks to my always insightful wife for our conversation about the lecture.]
Once a year we tidy up the ristras, tell the braying donkeys next door to keep it down, and leave the bistro lights burning long into the evening as we welcome visitors to Ideum’s annual open house. This year, over 150 guests made their way to our offices to see the latest and greatest from Ideum, and we had plenty to share.
Guests were welcomed into our Prototyping and Usability lab to check out an array of our newest multitouch hardware and creative software solutions.
Hadn’t had the chance to make it to the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian in Washington DC over the past few months? Not to worry! Visitors were able to experience the magic of our Exploring Cusco interactive in all its 84” glory right here in Corrales.
Guests explore the ancient city of Cusco on one of Ideum’s 84″ multitouch tables.
We had staff at the ready to demonstrate how our proprietary fiducial technology works on our newest 55” coffee table and give visitors a sneak peek of our 7-application suite for the Lowell Observatory.
Rafael explains the use of 3D printed conductive markers.
Folding paper with the Origami Apprentice, an application that Ideum developed for the HP Sprout.
Our Open House also marked an exciting, new chapter in Ideum’s story as we welcomed guests behind-the-scenes to take a first look at our newly-completed production space. Adding an additional 5,000 square feet to our operation, the new space will allow us to expand the production of our popular multitouch tables and touch walls, and improve support.
A 360 degree panoramic image of our newly-completed production space.
We’re already looking forward to next year’s Open House!
Ideum is pleased to announce the world’s first Ultra High Definition (UHD) 4K coffee table. Sleek, attractive, and ready for any environment, the 4th generation redesign of our iconic coffee table raises the bar for multitouch solutions. Available for years with 42” and 46” displays, the 55” coffee table features an expansive screen that uses 3M projected-capacitive (PCAP) technology and can comfortably support up to 4 users.
3M PCAP technology is now used in all of Ideum’s 55” and 65” multitouch displays and has several advantages over other touch systems. Since it is a conductive surface, it is not affected by interference from light, and only hands (or a stylus, or special conductive materials) can register as touches. Which means magazines, books, and of course, coffee cups, won’t disrupt whatever you’re doing on the screen. And, like all of Ideum’s products the 55” coffee table is built for demanding environments—the surface is water and dust resistant, and the chassis is made out of aircraft-grade aluminum and comes complete with lockable ports to ensure security.
The Ideum 55” coffee table is a fully integrated system equipped with a powerful Intel® Core™ i7 quad core computer and single push-button power. With its robust computer and superior 3M touch screen technology, the 55” coffee table supports Ideum custom software solutions, including Ideum’s proprietary fiducial software. With its full-size, discrete NVIDIA graphics card, apps look better than ever. The 55” coffee table can be purchased with Windows 10, and will be available with support for Android later in 2016.
To learn more about Ideum’s 55″ coffee table, click here to download the spec sheet.
We were recently featured in the Spring, 2016 issue of Trend art + design + architecture magazine! Highlighting the benefits of creating shared interactive experiences, Ideum rises above the competition because we offer the whole package—we design and build our own hardware and software. Therefore, we create thoughtfully designed, durable products that produce the best possible user experience utilizing the latest technology. Check out the article here, starting on page 27, or click on the link below.