IBM THINK Exhibit App. for Tablets Captures History’s Great Moments of Innovation

By Lee Green, IBM VP of Brand Experience and Strategic Design

Lee Green, IBM VP

Author Lee Green

The history of measurement may seem arcane, but consider how people centuries ago measured time, length, or the Earth’s rotation. Compare that to measuring atoms with a scanning tunneling microscope — and all the historic milestones in between.

Related: Flickr set of images:

Today IBM is releasing a free, interactive app, IBM THINK, for iPad and Android tablets. It shows how early tools have evolved into modern advances that make the world word work better — healthier populations, greener energy and safer, less congested cities. The app is for people of all ages who love science, history and technology — think of it as an “innovation time machine.”

THINK Exhibit app, mapping category

One of many screens to explore of IBM’s THINK Exhibit application for tablets

Through thousands of images and historical anecdotes, IBM THINK brings to life stories of the history of progress, from space exploration to weather prediction and medical advances. It documents the roots of Big Data, from early charts and scales to microscopes and telescopes, from RFID chips and biomedical sensors in clothing to breath-sensor diabetes detectors.

The app shows how maps have been used to track data from early geographical charts to today’s data visualizations. It chronicles how “models” have been used to understand the complex behaviors of our world – from the Wright Brothers’ plane prototype in 1903, to today’s airline mechanical parts simulations. Given its strong educational bent, the app will even be used to create lesson plans for middle school students later this year.

It also includes a 10-minute HD film about tech innovation, edited from footage shot on location in China, India, Indonesia, Russia, Thailand, Turkey and the U.S. with a new camera rig that captures imagery simultaneously on three video cameras.

The app is inspired by IBM’s 2011 THINK pop-up exhibit at New York’s Lincoln Center, developed for the company’s Centennial. Visitors were immersed in a film and interactive experience across 40 oversized digital screens. IBM’s exhibit was just placed in the Museum of Modern Art’s permanent collection and has received many design awards. Later this year, the THINK Exhibit will be installed in its original form at Walt Disney World’s EPCOT Center in Orlando, Fla.

This is IBM’s second tablet app this year for tech history buffs. Minds of Modern Mathematics reinvents the massive timeline of the history of math from 1000 AD to 1960 that was part of Mathematica: A World of Numbers…and Beyond, IBM’s 1964 World’s Fair exhibit designed by Charles and Ray Eames. The app offers biographies, milestones and images of artifacts culled from the Mathematicaexhibit as well as a high-resolution image of the original timeline poster.

To download the IBM THINK app:

For iPad:

For Android tablets:

Join the conversation on Twitter:  #STEM

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Are you planning to download this free app? Don’t forget to tell your friends!

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