The increased demand for touch-screen capability has led to a demand for something else: a way to bring interactivity to large digital canvases.

It’s “Touch and Go” With Digital Signage as Interactivity Goes Mainstream

Richard Heslett | Christie

In today’s technology-driven world, the sense of touch is becoming an increasingly integral part of digital signage. The latest trend in information and communication, it has seen explosive growth in such personal products as eReaders, tablets, and smart phones. This growth, in turn, is compelling the digital signage market to “up its game” to better engage an easily distracted, tech-savvy audience. Interactivity creates a more natural, personal connection between the message and its audience; it adds a more kinesthetically appealing and engaging element to the experience.

Museums are among the public spaces changing with the time. In the old days, visitors were advised to “look but don’t touch” the many objects and artwork on display. Today, it’s all about getting them involved.  As a comprehensive, multi-faceted museum, one of Cleveland Museum of Art’s primary goals is to educate people about the world’s great art. While undergoing extensive renovations, the museum adopted leading technology to not only inspire, but also to engage with current and future visitors. Enlisting  Zenith Systems’ and Christie’s expertise, the museum  installed one massive 40-foot wide multi-touch video wall – the largest in the U.S. – and one smaller display in the early childhood Studio Play area, both displays creating interactive zones, blending art and technology with interactivity.

Staying in Touch

The increased demand for touch-screen capability has led to a demand for something else: a way to bring interactivity to large digital canvases. One answer to this is Christie’s Interactivity Kit, a modular, lightweight kit designed in pieces that can be configured into 84 different sizes. It can accommodate practically any large-format display up to 21.4 feet wide and 6 feet high. Using groundbreaking BaantoTM ShadowSenseTM technology, the kit lets multiple users interact simultaneously with a video wall, with the resolution and speed needed to support finger-based gestures such as flicking, pinching, rotating and scrolling.

The Christie Interactivity Kit simply attaches around the perimeter of any large display and plugs into a standard computer’s USB port without any need for drivers. No manual calibration of sensors or cameras is required and Windows 7 automatically recognizes the kit as a multi-touch device, making set-up extra easy.

Demonstrating both the usefulness of the Interactivity Kit and the popularity of multi-touch technology is the installation by Cineviz and Christie of a “digital paint palette” exhibit at the Midland Center for the Arts in Michigan. With its “Escape the Ordinary” theme, the center is unique in that it encourages participation and appreciation for art, science, music, theater and history.

For the display, Cineviz installed four high definition LCD flat panels in portrait mode – two on each side of a four-inch gap, forming two digital “canvases” – surrounded by the Christie Interactivity Kit. Participants of all ages can instantly engage with the display, creating their own pictures with a digital paint palette application. To reduce wear and tear, Cineviz placed tempered glass over the flat panels with the kit’s modular frame placed around the display. 

“This exhibit really showcases interactive visual displays,” said Mike Driedric, Cinevez’s vice president of sales. “We tailored the display specifically to the museum – tying a physical solution with an interactive element to deliver an experience that people can’t get anywhere else.”

With more and more digital signage installations incorporating interactivity, warnings such as “Please do not touch the display” could soon become a thing of the past!

 

About Richard:  

Richard is a senior product manager at Christie, world leader in high-end visual systems for business, entertainment and industry. Richard is responsible for a cohesive ecosystem of unique digital media products, including Christie® MicroTiles®, a breakthrough technology that enables designers and integrators to create eye-catching displays that have never been possible before.


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