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Hardware New Technology Research Topics

inFORM – Dynamic Shape Display

I recently came across the following research project from the Tangible Media Group at the MIT Media Lab.

inFORM is a Dynamic Shape Display which allows you to physically interact with 3D data.

inform1

To get a good idea of the concept, watch the following video

(original link: http://vimeo.com/79179138)

Further details of the research can be found in the paper “inForm: Dynamic Physical Affordances and Constraints through Shape and Object Actuation” which can be found on the MIT Tangible Media Group website at

http://tangible.media.mit.edu/papers/

This paper is due to appear in the Proceedings of the 26th annual ACM symposium on User Interface Software and Technology (UIST 13).

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The system uses 30×30 motorized white polystyrene pins over an area of 381x381mm and uses 900 mechanical actuators to control the pin height and provide a variable stiffness. User interaction and objects are tracked using an overhead Microsoft Kinect. Graphics are created using OpenGL and displayed using an overhead projector onto over an 87 x 66 cm area display area.

I think its an interesting concept and I look forward to a higher resolution version …

The project page can be found at

http://tangible.media.mit.edu/project/inform/