Make it Multitouch Workshop at Museums and the Web Conference

museums and the web

For the second year in a row, Paul Lacey and I will be hosting a workshop entitled Make it Multitouch at the Museums and the Web conference. Normally, I try to avoid sequels and over the last few years I have delivered one-time workshops on RSS, mashups, and even online video editing. Multitouch is different. As emergent technology, it has the potential to fundamentally change the way visitors interactive with exhibits and eventually the Web itself.

This year Paul and I will have a few new things to share. Most notably, we will show a new experimental LCD multitouch table table (a potential successor to the MT-5o multitouch table)  and provide a peek under the hood of this new high-resolution device. I hope to see some of you at the Museums and the Web conference this year in Denver. The workshop will be held on April 14th. Here’s the description…

Multitouch and multiuser exhibits are changing the ways in which visitors interact with computer-based exhibits in museums. Multitouch exhibits allow designers to move away from traditional graphical user-interfaces and incorporate more natural and intuitive controls. Additionally, multiuser exhibits encourage social interaction in ways that traditional computer exhibits can’t.

Multitouch technology is no longer just a novelty, it is moving into the mainstream. The iPhone and other touch-enabled phones, the popularity of multitouch-capable all-in-one PCs, and the release of Windows 7 demonstrate the reach of multitouch technology. This major technological change presents exhibit developers with new and exciting design challenges. Before long, the work of Web developers will be impacted by the advent of multitouch, as well.

In this full-day workshop, we’ll explore a variety of multitouch technologies including off-the-shelf multitouch-enabled PCs, along with a look under the hood our second-generation custom-built 50″ touch table. We’ll also explain the software development process. Participants will see a variety of examples and prototypes, including many that use Web-based technologies. We’ll see how multi-touch technology is used to browse multimedia elements, RSS Feeds, mapping services, and other Web-based applications and mash-ups.

Finally, we’ll explore the design challenges multitouch and multiuser exhibits present. We’ll examine some traditional computer-based exhibits and conceptualize how they might be designed differently with multitouch and collaborative capabilities in mind. Through engaging rapid-design exercises, we’ll explore and discuss the conceptual, informational, and user-interface aspects of multitouch and multiuser design.

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