IBM Think was launched this week for iPads and Android tablets. Inspired by centuries of scientific innovation, the app sets out to show how early tools have evolved into the modern technological masterpieces we see today.

IBM Think is actually its Think pop-up exhibit reimagined in app form, the former being held at New York City’s Lincoln Center way back in 2011. Indeed, this exhibit has just been installed in the Museum of Modern Art’s (MOMA) permanent collection.

a25 520x337 IBM Think: An iPad and Android tablet app that charts the evolution of technology

So, what sort of topics does it cover? Well, everything from the Wright Brothers’ first plane prototype in 1903 to airline mechanical parts simulations from today.

b11 520x340 IBM Think: An iPad and Android tablet app that charts the evolution of technology

There are five interactive modules:

  • Seeing: Navigate an illustrated timeline documenting our quest to measure the world with increasingly precise tools.
  • Mapping: Discover some of the world’s most important maps and explore how they organize complex information.
  • Understanding: Interact with the models used to untangle and predict the behaviors of the world.
  • Believing: Listen to leaders of world-changing initiatives explain how they build belief.
  • Acting: Travel across a virtual globe to discover some of the most inspiring examples of systemic progress

Translated into 10 languages, the app 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 US, with a new camera rig that captures imagery simultaneously on three video cameras. The film attempts to make sense of the patterns of human progress, illustrating how technology can improve the world around us.

This tablet app is aimed at anyone (not just kids) with a passion for science, history and technology. Tapping thousands of images and anecdotes, IBM Think does a pretty good job of bringing history to life, covering early geographical charts to today’s data visualizations.

➤ IBM Think: iPad | Android tablets