For the New York Power Authority, we implemented a tangible multitouch simulation table of an electric grid. This is a flagship interactive created for the NYPA Power Vista visitor's center near Niagara Falls, NY. In an open-ended fashion, it lets people create arbitrary power grids and provides useful feedback on how their grid works and how to improve it. Tangible objects representing different parts of the grid, such as generators, transformers, and neighborhoods are placed on the table. People connect them with their fingers to create a live power grid, but don't connect the hydro-generator directly to your neighborhood - it will burn down with 13k volts going in! The electric grid created by visitors is simulated in real time and the successes and problems are displayed as alerts on each element. The table also connects to a site-specific theatrical video event. The table highlights the different parts of the hydroelectric dam in sync with a projected movie creating a true multi-media experience.
NYPA Power Grid Table
Diego Rivera Mural Table
For the Philadelphia Museum of Art's "Mexican Modernism: Paint the Revolution" exhibit about Mexican painting in the 20th century, there was a need to cover the important place of murals in its history. It was not possible to transport any murals for obvious reasons, so the decision was made to photograph on of Diego Rivera's murals and display it at life size in a video loop with an accompanying touch table to explore the mural in depth. The original concept of the interactive was to flip the typical exploration interactive where parts of a painting are touched to learn details into a kind of "treasure hunt" interaction. People are given details to look for in parts of the mural and they complete the search by touching the the correct spots in the mural's panels. This searching mode of interaction helps visitors to be active in looking at the details in the mural's many panels. For example, the mural contains portraits of Frida Kahlo and Henry Ford as well as many politically provocative representations of rich people and the peasants rising up. The interactive is fully bilingual to support the exhibit as it traveled to Mexico City.
Wall Street Journal review of the exhibit: "Even huge, unmovable murals—still the most remarkable aspect of Mexican
modernism—are present via three digital displays. The best one projects, in rotating panels, the
courtyard façade of Mexico City’s Ministry of Public Education, which Rivera had covered with
“Ballad of the Agricultural Revolution” (1926-27) and “Ballad of the Proletarian Revolution”
(1928-29). An interactive display explains his powerful scenes and some of their characters (such
as Henry Ford and John D. Rockefeller in “Wall Street Banquet”). It’s an excellent use of
technology in an art museum."
Breaking the Silence Study Table
Lights of Inclusion Floor Game
In the Canadian Museum for Human Rights’ Canadian Journeys gallery, the Lights of Inclusion Floor Game provides a playful interpretation of the idea that our actions affect others and that we have to work together as a community to improve human rights. The game is a 21’ (6.4m) white circular interactive floor projection that rewards people coming together to form groups. When people walk through the circular area, spotlight-like colorful orbs and trails follow them around. When people come close to each other, their orbs merge and their outlines begin to animate energetically. As the group size increases, the energy of the surrounding color field also increases and becomes more irregular. With five or more people, the group becomes big enough to transition to a new “oneness” state where each person’s orb turns into a solar corona. In the “oneness” state, the group’s color fills up the whole space with a field of textured light. The wordless interaction provides an alternative way to explore group collaboration and works as a counterpoint to the surrounding exhibits in the Canadian Journeys gallery’s 18 alcoves filled with rich historical content. Families with small children as well as adults can access this piece or sit around and rest in the surrounding circular benches while watching others enjoy and explore.
Hong Kong Jockey Club
In partnership with international digital agency Possible Worldwide, Tactable developed cutting-edge interactive gaming tables for the The Hong Kong Jockey Club, one of the globe’s most prestigious horseracing associations. Debuting at the Club’s hip Adrenaline Bar, the IBU tables were designed to appeal to a younger generation of more digitally and socially-oriented patrons.
Developed on Tactable’s multi-touch hardware and software platforms, built with the highest standards of industrial design, and incorporating RFID, e-commerce, video, all through intuitive multi-touch, the tables allow customers to view pre-race videos, explore horse stats and odds and use smart cards to place bets and print receipts – all while interacting and connecting with each other. A seamless, social, fun and truly modern betting experience.
Creatures of the Fiery Pool
Surrounded by the sea in all directions, the ancient Maya viewed their world as inextricably tied to water — the vital medium from which the world emerged, gods arose and ancestors communicated. Fiery Pool: The Maya and the Mythic Sea at the Peabody Essex museum reinterprets Mayan art with this idea in mind, in an exhibit the New York Times call "unforgettably dramatic." The Creatures of the Fiery Pool table was the exhibit's interactive centerpiece.
Presented on a unique elliptical multi-touch surface custom-designed by Tactable, shadowy figures swim within an animated sea, which, when touched, miraculously transform into their mythical counterparts as imagined by ancient Mayan artists. Hand-drawn menus of icons reveal fascinating details about turtles, crocodiles, sting rays, sharks and other animals as they appear in nature, art and the Maya cosmology. Artworks in the gallery are interpreted through video and animation, encouraging visitors to see them in a different light. The entire background surface is touchable by many people as well, creating realistic waves in the simulated water pool. Sunset reflections appear on the waves' surface giving a dynamic visual interpretation of the meaning of the Mayan mythical Fiery Pool.
MFA Artists' Choices Table
The Artists’ Choices multi-touch table allows visitors to create images in the manner of four 20th century painters (Georgia O’Keeffe, Edward Hopper, Charles Sheeler and Ralph Coburn). This 64" by 40" surface, situated in the middle of a 20th century gallery in the Boston Museum of Fine Art’s new American Wing, displays six work stations and a shared work portfolio. Seated as if around a coffee table, visitors make compositions alone or with others. They also learn the background of each artist, exploring biographies and key works. Visitors select one of four activities: choosing O’Keeffe allows visitors to scale and crop elements as O’Keeffe did in many of her works; choosing Hopper allows visitors to move elements into and around Hopper’s Room in Brooklyn; choosing Coburn allows visitors to re-arrange replicas of the 35 small canvases that make up Blue White Green; and choosing Sheeler allows visitors to layer and color photographic transparencies as Sheeler did. When complete, the visitor’s creation can animate off the workstation, grow to fill the entire table (a dramatic moment!) and then settle in a shared public portfolio.
Map of the Future - Climate Change Simulation Table
The Map of the Future is an interactive climate change simulation table created by Tactable for a National Science Foundation (NSF) sponsored traveling museum exhibit. The exhibit focuses on the current and future potential impacts of local and global climate change. Visitors walking up to the interactive table can place one or more physical dials on the map to alter the future level of energy supplies and demands, and see how those changes would impact the world in 2075. Multiple versions of the Map of the Future table will travel around the U.S. to different science museums and centers as part of a larger exhibit about climate change over the next few years. The global energy supply and demands are converted into carbon dioxide emissions, which are fed into a climate simulation model to predict temperature rise in the year 2075. Results are shown in different modalities including numerical, visual, and auditory. The carbon levels are visualized as visual smog clouds on the map, and blinking alerts are used to highlight the potential negative impacts due to temperature rise and energy shortages. “News from the future” videos are periodically played showing what the world may be like as a result of the users' choices.
Sprint Digital Lounge Tables
We worked with Sprint to develop what has been termed the “jewel” of their flagship store in Kansas City — two multi-touch tables that allow customers to sample from the wide array of media on their network. Music hits, videos, screensavers, games, and applications are visualized as a 3D world of glowing orbs that bubble up as people approach the tables and display selected media when touched, in a fluid and social interaction. Using object recognition technology, special discs placed on the tables prompt a variety of applets that are fun representations of Sprint’s offerings, like a fully interactive DJ's turntable or fully functioning web browser. The tables are integrated into the store's show control system, triggering synchronized full-screen videos that play with the other displays in the store.
The Beatles Revolution Lounge Tables
In collaboration with Virtango and Small Design Firm, we created touch and glass sensing technology and consulted on both the physical and the interaction design for seven multi-touch tables for Cirque du Soleil. The concept was to reanimate the imagery from the Beatles and 60's psychedelia in a magical and fun nightclub experience. Clients can draw with their fingers but instead of lines, they may get flowers, rainbows or trains of animated mini-Beatles. Glasses are recognized and tracked to trigger colorful effects projected down to light up the drinks. We also created a custom LED ring recognition system to enable special individuals to activate the 'drawing review' mode of the table and to select drawings for display on central columns in the bar.