A Gallery of Interactives!

Wallraising at Stanford's
Mechanical Engineering
Research Laboratory

The Reading Eye Dog at
Disney's Epcot Center

Experiments in the Future
of Reading (XFR) originally installed at the Tech Museum, San Jose, CA

Onomy Builds Interactives!

The heart of Onomy Labs is novel interactive devices. We go beyond the desktop computer screen and create physical objects with which visitors physically interact. Our devices invite you to touch, twist, turn, pull, jump, and slide. What's more, the devices react exactly as you would expect them to.

To do this, we use powerful computation techniques and state-of-the-art sensors to create simple and logical worlds in which visitors are motivated to use familiar interaction techniques. Most of our devices need no instructions to operate, visitors already know how to use them.

For our latest museum work, Onomy Labs completed and installed an exhibition for the Papalote Children's Science Museum in Mexico City, Mexico. The exhibit is a 20-foot long version of the interactive Wall and displays a story about the history of communication on a wall-sized graphic panel with a 42" plasma display gliding across the graphic on a full-length track.

Two examples of Onomy-designed devices are currently at Disney's Epcot Center Theme Park in Orlando, Florida. One device features a game that is played by tilting a table to move items toward their goal. Another is a cute dog that reads books to children.

Museum exhibitions and theme park attractions that use technology have special requirements for safety and robustness. Exhibits are expected to run unattended for weeks at a time without maintenance and will likely have hundreds or thousands of users pushing and pulling on every feature. It is very important to understand the environment of museums, especially those of children's museums, and design for simple and dependable but fun interactions for the visitors.

For the Tech Museum of Innovation in San Jose, California, the Onomy team members designed and constructed a 15-exhibit show entitled Experiments in the Future of Reading, or XFR, sponosored by Xerox PARC.

Our purpose for building the exhibition was to communicate two important messages to our visitors: that technology will change the way we read, and that these changes could be extremely exciting. Because we wanted the interfaces to be as intuitive as books already are, we decided to eliminate all visible keyboards or mice and instead build interactors that children would be comfortable with. Since we were building new reading devices that suggested new genres of reading, we needed to author a new kind of content for them.

Museum visitors look for exhibits that are both entertaining and thoughtful, and we were successful on almost all levels in achieving that with XFR. The hundreds of thousands of children who experienced our devices and actually stayed to read the content have been delighted with the interaction. The XFR Reading Wall won a Gold Award from ID Magazine, and the Listen Reader won a Silver Award.

The XFR exhibition has just completed a three year tour of science museums in North America and is now for sale.

Be sure to see our Gallery of Interactives.

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