Physical Interface Development – Using Web Technology for Exhibits

September 1, 2015
Posted in: Ottawa, Web Development

During the development of the Canadian Museum of Nature‘s Vale Earth Gallery Exhibit, we were responsible for over a dozen interactives. Museum staff wanted to be able to manage the interactives using familiar technology, and wanted to ensure that future staff members would be able to quickly understand how each piece works.

With JavaScript, CSS3, and HTML5 video responsible for the vast majority of user interface interactions online, we decided to use our experience with these technologies to help build exhibits that can be easily maintained by almost any web developer.

Nearly all completed interactives used HTML5, jQuery, and CSS3 as a base, and included additional technology when required.  Some interactives also use WordPress as a data-warehouse or content management system.

To interface with physical inputs and outputs like joysticks, levers, buttons, pumps, and lights, we relied heavily on Phidgets software.  To make the software drivers web-accessible, we built a Flash bridge that allowed us to use JavaScript to link the digital world to the physical.

The resulting applications can react to buttons, joysticks, and more, and can provide feedback to users in visual and auditory ways.

Web technology is becoming more and more applicable to real world situations, and continues to make exhibit development easier.

Scott Buckingham

President / Owner
613-801-1350 x101
[email protected]
Scott is a WordPress expert who has worked on hundreds of web design and development projects. He excels at finding creative ways to solve technical problems. View full profile