Common Questions

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Tangible Engine is the first object recognition software package for projected capacitive touch displays. The Tangible Engine SDK allows developers to connect events within applications to physical objects placed on the surface of a touch table.

Q: How does Tangible Engine work?
Tangible Engine is a software authoring environment that works with most of Ideum's multitouch tables (sizes 43", 49", 55", 65", and 86"). The software can recognize "touch" patterns that are created with conductive materials (we 3D print the tangible bases using conductive filament). These geometric patterns, placed on the bottom of a "puck" or "totem" are identified by the Tangible Engine software allowing programmers to connect events with the appearance, movement, or rotation of these objects.
Q: What are the technical requirements for Tangible Engine?
Tangible Engine has been developed for Ideum touch tables and requires this hardware to run. It works with Windows 10 Professional, which comes standard on Ideum touch tables.
Q: Does Tangible Engine work on every Ideum multitouch table?
No. Tangible Engine is not supported on the Pano 100" touch table. Ideum's Pro, Platform, Colossus, and Pico touch tables support Tangible Engine. In addition, our Presenter and Inline Displays (if laid flat) support Tangible Engine. Ideum touch tables sold before 2016, generally do not support Tangible Engine, contact our Sales or Support groups for details.
Q: How much does Tangible Engine cost?
Tangible Engine is free with the purchase of three qualified Ideum touch tables or displays. It is available for purchase for orders with less than three units.
Q: Can custom tangible objects be created?
Yes. We’ve created a variety of different tangible objects out of all sorts of different materials. As long as the base of the object contains the conductive pattern, just about any object can be placed on top. We’ve developed tangibles using acrylic, wood, 3D printed objects, and other materials.
Smart Tangible Object Petri Dish Tangible. Wood finish Object. Wine Coaster Tangible. Dial Tangible Object. Custom Plane Tangibles.
We have created a variety of custom tangible objects for our clients.
Q: Does Tangible Engine support rotation?
Yes. Tangible Engine supports rotation and it can be used for tangible user interfaces. Tangibles can be used as dials that bring menus or support other functions.
Q: Does Tangible Engine support multiple displays?
Yes. As long as the displays are connected to the same computer system (and all have touch). We’ve demonstrated support for up to four displays.
Q: Which programming languages does Tangible Engine support for authoring tangible user interfaces?
The Tangible Engine SDK has support and examples for Unity3D and QT Quick. Since Tangible Engine 2.0 has service-based architecture, it is possible to create new bindings that will work with additional languages and frameworks.
Q: Are there examples of exhibits and installations that use Tangible Engine?
Ideum’s Creative Services group has built a number of different installations for a wide variety of Fortune 500 and Museum clients.

Interactive Coffee Experience for Starbucks
Bob Hope’s USO tours for the World War II museum
Interactive Wine Tasting for JCB Wines
An Interactive History Lesson for Planes of Fames Air Museum
Q: How long has Tangible Engine been available? What is the current version?
Tangible Engine has been a product since June of 2016 with the release of Tangible Engine 1.0. It has had two major updates since then, the release of Tangible Engine 1.5 in the spring of 2017 and the release of Tangible Engine 2.0 in the summer of 2018. In the summer of 2019, Ideum announced Tangible Engine Support for the Colossus 86" touch table. Ideum has been developing this software since 2014 when it released the Dynamic Desktop Office of the Future demo video.
Q: What are Smart Tangibles?
Smart Tangible have embedded electronics and LED lights that expand opportunities for interaction. Smart Tangibles have Bluetooth, Wifi, accelerometer, sound and vibration features that can be programmed to add additional functionality and feedback. Ideum created a demo of Smart Tangibles in the fall of 2018. Smart Tangible will be available later in 2019.
Q: Where can I learn more about Tangible Engine and Tangible User Interface (TUI)?
Ideum has published a white paper entitled, The Evolution of Tangible User Interfaces on Touch Tables.