I recently had a couple opportunities to present the digital art from our Masterpieces project in several physical exhibitions, first at the National Museum of Singapore, and then the Ayala Museum in Manila. For a sense of scale, the Singapore exhibit featured 50 tablet displays and 20 TVs. The tablets were interactive, allowing users to swipe though and view details of artwork, scrub through videos, and create digital art themselves. 10,000 visitors went through the collection and making sure that the devices stayed operational and did just what we wanted them to do and no more was a fun challenge.

TVs are pretty straight forward to configure, just USB-thumb drives and content on loop. Tablets present a considerably more interesting challenge. We didn’t want users to quit our apps and check their facebook, or for the tablets screens to turn off, etc. Here’s the final configuration:

  • The cornerstone was SureLock, its not the sleekest app out there, but it does its job web: keeping just the apps you want running, preventing tablets from sleeping, and locking out the unessential features. You can also save your configuration in a file which is imported automatically, very helpful for mass configuration of many tablets.
  • The most common type of tablet allowed users to page through images and zoom in on details – a companion to the TV experience. The functionality needed to be similar to a standard gallery app, but without any other features, particularly no ability to delete the images being viewed. For this I created my own little app based on ImageViewZoom. My version resets the zoom when you navigate away from an image, automatically loads images from the “Masterpieces” folder in the root and sorts the images by file-name. Grab the APK and the project.
  • For letting users scrub through video art (and again not have the option to delete content) I used the free and nifty PocketLooper app. Note that there is a bug in versionĀ 1.04 which requires you to hit “Save” in the playlist before it will play your video from the default folder.
  • We also had an area where users could try creating their own digital art and then email it to themselves. For this I used a combination of the ArtFlow and Email Me app which allowed us to pre-configure the email message.

A couple photos from the gallery: