A bit of history
July 2009 we started on a project that would be part of national campaign to encourage people to read a book (called Holland Reads). As part of that campaign a classic title from Dutch literature was chosen and handed out for free in public libraries.
This book (Oeroeg by Hella S. Haasse) was the subject of a Pixelsense application we developed. During the campaing this application several Pixelsense units would tour the country and present library visitors a new way to interact with information.
Enter the editor
This was the start of a development process that resulted in the first TipTile application, complete with editor. The development hasn’t stopped, but we wanted to share the results and let other Pixelsense owners create their own TipTiles.
Meanwhile we keep creating TipTile presentation for all sorts of organizations and purposes.
It turned out that putting in new content was actually quite easy (for us developers) and gave the program a whole new look. It was obvious that the content was boss here, it defined what the application really was: in this case a nostalgic trip into the history of a small town. The technology (application and hardware) was merely the servant.
Going to school
Shortly after that we started a pilot with a Pixelsense and some educational applications at a school. For the occasion we created a couple of new TipTiles, with content on youth literature. With lots of illustrations, some text fragments, photographs, video and sound clips these were again two altogether different applications.
For younger children less items seemed the best choice and adding sound clips to images gave them an extra incentive to explore the content.
At that moment we had begun developing the TipTile editor. We decided to focus on the core functionality, making it a program that would be easy to use. Testing the application resulted in numerous TipTiles on varying subjects, from railway history to modern art, from spacetravel to prehistoric dolmen.
Although we specialize in educational and informational applications, we realized that a presentation program like TipTile could be used for all sorts of purposes. We decided to put it to the test when we were invited to give a couple of presentations on our work with education and technology. Instead of using a slideshow presentation, we created a TipTile as the guideline for the story and ran it from a laptop through a beamer or on a digital schoolboard.
On to the future and beyond…
This opened up a whole new range of possibilities. Although the program is primarily designed to run on a multiuser device like the Pixelsense it can also be put to good use on other platforms. That will be part of the focus in future development of the program.