Open Exhibits - Research - Papers



Multi-touch interfaces in museum spaces: Reporting preliminary findings on the nature of interaction



For the past twenty years there has been a slow trickle of research disseminated through a variety of channels on the nature and use of computer interactives within museum and gallery environments. This research has yet to be consolidated into a robust and coherent evidence base for considering and understanding the continued investment in such interactives by institutions. Simultaneously, however, the technology has changed almost beyond recognition from early kiosk-based computer exhibits featuring mostly film and audio content, through to the newer generation of multi-touch interfaces being introduced in the UK and beyond. This paper seeks to establish what can be gleaned from prior research in the field of computer interactives to inform the study of these latest technological forms. It reports preliminary observations from the study of multi-touch interfaces and discusses issues identified for their continued investigation; principally, asking questions about the nature of experience and interactivity in such encounters and the research methods that we might use to better explore and understand their use in the future.