Your Table Can Recognise Your Coffee?

Multi touch tables with recognition software could become a permanent fixture in your local Starbucks, your break times might feel all the more sci-fi…

Ideum has announced the unveiling of their Tangible Engine, which is a new software development kit (SDK) which allows developers to create applications which recognise objects on multitouch tables. The software being developed can recognize objects which are embedded with conductive patterns, and works with Ideum’s like of Ultra High Definition (UHD) 4K multitouch tables.



The Tangible Engine is said to be the first SDK that works with projected-capacitive touch screens. For a little context, projected-capacitive touch is a non-optical technology which is found in many smart phones and tablets. It allows for touches to be sensed through a protective layer in front of a display. This means of sensing touch doesn’t require cameras to recognise objects on the display surface. The objects that are sensed by the sensing layer are 3D printed with conductive patterns. Ideum provides sample objects along with full instructions, allowing developers to print their own.

Since this technology consists of a Configurator / Visualizer utility and an SDK, Tangible Engine allows developers to connect events application, to objects on the touch table surface. New objects can be added, and have properties assigned to them. It also allows C++ and Unity3D developers to integrate recognition into their programming workflow easily, which opens doors for more developers.


Developers and designers can use real objects to create new interactive experiences, and Ideum’s client list for this system includes companies such as JCB winey in Napa Valley and Starbucks. Interactive coasters have been developed for these two clients, allowing visitors using the touch table to learn about the wine or coffee they were drinking.

“Tangible object recognition opens up a world of interactive possibilities on our touch tables,” explains Ideum Creative Director and Founder, Jim Spadaccini. “We are excited to see what types of interactive experiences other design firms develop with this system.”

Tangible Engine is available to qualified purchasers of Ideum multitouch tables. It is compatible with Ideum’s line of 55″ and 65″ UHD 4K Pro, Platform and Duet model touch tables. These tables use 3M™ touch technology, but Ideum’s proprietary SDK is required to recognize fiducial objects. The Pro, Platform and Duet touch tables are designed and built by Ideum in the USA to exacting standards. They come with high-quality components including Intel i7 processors and NVIDIA discrete graphics cards. Like all of Ideum’s products, the Pro, Platform and Duet are built out of aircraft-grade aluminum and come complete with lockable ports to ensure security.

About Ideum
Ideum is an innovative design company based in Corrales, New Mexico. The firm focuses on creating the next generation of visitor experiences that blend both the physical and digital realms. Along with its Creative Services software group, Ideum designs and produces integrated and hardened large-scale multitouch tables and touch walls for museums, educational institutions, government agencies, and Fortune 500 companies. It has offered multitouch tables since 2009 and has now sold them in 38 countries.

Ideum is a trademark of Ideum, Inc. 3M™ is the registered trademark of 3M™ Company.