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About this Project

Open Exhibits is an open source multitouch multiuser software project designed to transform how museum professionals and other educators assemble interactive computer-based exhibits for use in museums, schools, and on the Web.

The Open Exhibits SDK includes support for multitouch gestures within Adobe Flash and Flex. This software is free for museums, universities, students, U.S. Government organizations and research labs, and other educational organizations.

Project Partners

Ideum in collaboration with the National Center for Interactive Learning (NCIL), operates Open Exhibits with three museum partners: the Don Harrington Discovery Center, the Maxwell Museum of Anthropology, and New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science. Evaluation will be conducted by Rockman ET AL.

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Flash, Flex, & Air

Multitouch, Multiuser Support

The Open Exhibits SDK provides an extensive gesture library that allows developers to easily build multitouch applications for use on most TUIO, Windows 7 and Air 2.0-enabled surfaces.

Flash, Flex, & Air

Modules and Templates

The heart of Open Exhibits is asuite of professionally-designed multitouch software modules that act as building blocks for creating new exhibits. Open source Modules and Templates allow designers and developers to connect to online collections and web applications, play multimedia, intearct with NUI devices (such as Microsoft Kinect), and more.

Flash, Flex, & Air

Practical and Open

Since most developers of computer-based interactive exhibits use Adobe Flash, Open Exhibits does too. Most modules and templates are authored in Flash, or Adobe's open source Flex (FlashBuilder) framework.

Flash, Flex, & Air

Multi-Platform

Open Exhibits is available for Mac OSX, Windows and Linux. This flexibility expands the number of potential developers and ensures museums have a wide range of choices when it comes to choosing exhibit hardware.

Flash, Flex, & Air

A Community of Practice

OpenExhibits.org is a resource for developers and exhibit designers, with screencasts, member blogging, a community driven idea board, research findings, museum surveys, and the software itself.

Flash, Flex, & Air

Applied Research

Understanding the most effective practices in interactive exhibit design is essential to the success of Open Exhibits. Our research & design page aggregates research from across the field to enable Open Exhibits users to make informed design choices.

Flash, Flex, & Air

Plays Well with Others

Open Exhibits is part of a larger open source movement in the museum field. We've sought out advisors from the other museum open source initiatives (Collective Access, Omeka, and Pachyderm) to help make all of these tools more interoperable and more effective.

Open Exhibits software was designed for museums, universities, students, U.S. Government agencies, and other educational institutions.

Open Exhibits SDK is free for educational use only. Commercial use requires GestureWorks. All modules and templates will work with both Open Exhibits SDK and the Gestureworks multitouch framework for Flash and Flex.


This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant Number Division of Research on Learning in formal and informal settings #1010028. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.


Open Exhibits was developed by Ideum, makers of GestureWorks. Open Exhibits SDK is free for non-commercial use.

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