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Research and Design


Browse articles on exhibit design, interaction and application design, research on technology, white papers, and view Open Exhibits surveys.


Heist! at the Maxwell Museum of Anthropology

Profile picture for Jim Spadaccini

by Jim Spadaccini
Director Ideum

December 5, 2011

On Friday Heist software was used to show digital objects at the Opening of the “Look Close See Far: A Cultural Portrait of the Maya” exhibit opening at the Maxwell Museum of Anthropology. The digital objects were from the Maxwell’s Mayan collection. 

Heist is an experimental project that allows museum visitors to "steal" digital objects and put them on their iPhone, iPad, or Android device. You can learn more on Heist page on the Open Exhibits site. Congratulations to the Maxwell Museum for such a successful exhibit opening.

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Open Exhibits on the Road: The British Museum

Profile picture for Jim Spadaccini

by Jim Spadaccini
Director Ideum

November 1, 2011

Last week we were in London showing off Open Exhibits software in the Samsung Digital Discovery Centre at the British Museum. Along with about 30 people from the British Museum, we had visitors from: Museum of London, Science Museum, the National Maritime Museum, Natural History, Victoria and Albert Museum, The Tate, University of Birmingham, among others.  Commercial developers Cyan Animatica made the trip up from Sevilla, Spain and our partners from Sensus came in from the Netherlands.

We demonstrated the new Hesit project and a version of the Kinect-based gigapixel viewer developed by Open Exhibits member Samuel Cox.  

Heist is an experimental project that allows visits to "steal" digital objects from a multitouch table. For the demo we used a MT55 Platform table and visitors connected with iPhones, Android phones, and a few iPads and Android tablets that we provided.  There were some interesting discussions about possible uses for Heist for wayfinding and as a method for creating social experiences for visitors. If you haven't seen this application action, please visit the Heist page on this site.

Heist demo

Visitors to the meetup also tried out the Kinect-based gigapixel viewer exhibit developed by Samuel Cox. The exhibit allows visitors to select a gigapixel image using a touch-pad on the floor. Visitors can then use gestures to pan and zoom the large format images. You can learn more about the exhibit and see a video by reading Samuel's blog post, Immersive Photography

There are more photographs of the London meet up on the Open Exhibits Flickr site

Next stop San Jose!
In two weeks, we will be showing Heist and a version of the Kinect gigapixel viewer at the Tech Museum in San Jose as part of the Interfaces for the New Decade one-day conference. You can learn more about this event by reading Bob Ketner's blog post, Upcoming conference - Interfaces for the New Decade - November 15, 2011. We hope to see some of you there.

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Heist! Museum Visitors Take Digital Objects

Profile picture for Jim Spadaccini

by Jim Spadaccini
Director Ideum

October 11, 2011

Heist is an experimental project that uses Open Exhibits and GestureWorks software and is powered by Sensus server technology to enable effortless networking. Digital museum objects can be easily shared with visitor's smart phones or tablets. All this happens without visitors having to download a mobile app.

Heist uses a WiFi captive portal; as museum visitors connect to the network they are pushed an HTML 5 application. They simply add their name, pick a color and their personal avatar appears on the table.

Heist! via multitouch Table.

Once connected visitors can drag digital museum objects along with their metadata to their own device. Visitors can explore these objects on their personal devices and save them for view after their visit.

The multitouch table application—a modified Collection Viewer—was built with Open Exhibits software and the new GestureWorks 3 multitouch framework for Adobe Flash. The table used in the demo is an MT55 Platform multitouch table. The images and metadata are shared through the cloud powered by Sensus server technology.

Open Exhibits and Sensus will be offering a limited trial this winter. A test-bed involving ten museums will begin in early 2012. (Sorry, it has been delayed. 2/2/2012.)  If your museum is interested in participating please contact Jim Spadaccini or Charles Veasey.

Heist! interacting with Mobile Device.

High resolution images and video can be found on Flickr, Vimeo Pro and YouTube

The Heist project is a partnership between:

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Categories: Experiments

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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