Custom “Stretch” Touch Monitors at the Field Museum

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Ideum collaborated with the Field Museum to design custom stretch, multitouch "reading rails" for use throughout the museum.

We’ve just gotten the first photos from a large custom hardware project we’ve been working on with the Field Museum.

About a year ago, the museum expressed interest in working with us to develop a digital replacement for many of the “reading rails” that appear throughout the museum. These monitors were to be similar to a custom stretch touch monitor that we developed for the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center back in 2012.

Ideum collaborated with the Field to design these new units and has produced 80 of these custom multitouch systems to replace reading rails. The Field Museum wanted this new digital reading rail to use projected capacitive touch technology (the earlier version used IR). For the Field, we integrated a p-cap touch controller and designed a custom, hardened aluminum case. The custom stretch displays have a unique 16:5 aspect ratio, which support up to 20 simultaneous touch points. As you can see in the photos below, the first units have been prominently placed in the museum.

Field Museum - Ideum multitouch screens
Two custom ultra-wide screen monitors are below the “Fighting Elephants” which dominates Stanley Field Hall.

A close-up of one of the electronic reading rails found at the “Fighting Elephants.”

totems at the Hall of Native North Americans
The stretch monitors help describe the totems found at the entrance to the Hall of Native North Americans.

The Field Museum is one of the nation’s premier natural history museums, located in Chicago, Illinois.  We hope to share more photos as these as the reading rails are deployed around the museum.

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