This summer we had an exciting opportunity to work with Manitoba Hydro in the creation of an interactive touch screen. The goal was to create an immersive brand experience for the user as they learn about the history of the Winnipeg River hydroelectric dams. The display was installed at the Manitoba Electrical Museum in Winnipeg.
This type of interface project was a first for us, and presented a number of new and interesting challenges. We had to look into what kind of touch screen to use, what software would run the application, and how to create both a stable and easy to use final product.
Touch screens all try to produce a similar result: the ability for users to interact directly with things on the screen, but they use a few different technologies to make this happen. Some measure the change in current that occurs when a finger contacts the screen, some look for disturbances in their electromagnetic fields, and others measure the acoustic waves that originate from a finger touching the surface. These are just some other technologies out there, but they seemed to be the most common. After a bit of research, we settled on a 32 inch “acoustic pulse recognition” model, one of Tyco’s ELO Touchsystems line. The size, responsiveness, and internal computer all fit our needs quite well.
Here are some images of the screen. We produced a title screen with a subtle looping background video, and player screens to hold the videos for each hydroelectric dam.