inFORM Dynamic Shape Output Device

MIT's latest output device is a variation on the pushpin screen that you saw at your local science museum's gift shop. But way more cool.


(inFORM Interacting With a Dynamic Shape Display video)

Now you have a computer controlled surface and what is really surprising is how much you can get from this simple idea. With the help of a 3D depth camera and some innovative software, the surface can act as an output device that lets you manipulate real objects remotely. If you use the surface as a table then your computer can bring you real objects such as your mobile phone. Of course, almost boring by comparison, there is also the application of showing the user models of 3D objects to help with the design process.

Watch the video to see how it works in practice. What you can't see in the video is that the actuators can provide a variable stiffness modifying how the surface feels and how it can be moulded by touch.

Update: Fans of sf writer David Brin probably recall the needle-gym floor from his 1994 short story Natulife:

Cursing I tore off the helmet, gashing my cheek on the strap. The body suit still formed a matrix of other-world sensations -- hot savannah wind and gritty moccasins. But abruptly my eyes saw a tiny, off-white chamber, its coarse floor of needles mimicking a steep hillside. Sense-conflict made me sway in confusion as I dove for the door.

End update.

Although these pushpin devices (non-electronic ones) have been around for a while, sf fans fondly recall the cool table display from the X-Men move, which could instantly recapitulate any urban topography.


(3D table display from the X-Men [2000])

Via iProgrammer.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 11/16/2013)

Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.

| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 0 )

Related News Stories - (" Display ")

USAF 'BATMAN' Wrist Display
'The tiny screen in the bracelet's center...'- Roger Zelazny, 1980.

SEL 3-Fold OLED 9 Inch Display Is Pocket-Sized!
'A paper thin polycarbon screen unfurled silently...'- William Gibson, 1986.

Amazing ARES Augmented Reality Sandbox
'First he showed him where the input and output of his brand-new kingdom were, and how to program wars...'- Stanislaw Lem, 1965.

'3D Light Sculpture' Projected Directly Onto Retina
'...projects directly on the retina of the eye…'- Kornbluth and Pohl, 1952

 

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

 

Current News

Oak Ridge To Pay For The (Giant, Superfast 3D) Printer
'Can your Biltong print for more than a hundred people?'

Race Into The Future With Bionic Boots
'The tremendous loping strides afforded by such devices... '

Linux Robot Masters Automatic Charging
'Then it appeared to make up its mind, and trundled over to a wall socket...'

PR2 Robot Dominates In Laundry Room
Where are the robots who will pick up discarded clothes?

Do You Want A Tablet Computer? Or, Fad Over?
'He would plug his foolscap-sized Newspad into the ship's information circuit'

First Person Video Flying Parrot Bebop Drone Video
'Over a radius of several miles Sonya's raytron apparatus could direct its flight...'

XPrize's Diamandis Implants RFID Tag In Hand
'People in Manhattan have replaced their Freedom Card with a radio-frequency chip about the size of a vitamin pill.'

Lightpaper Way Thinner Than OLED
'You have this on Siwenna?'

Foodini 3D Printer
''...Food slot gave him flat reddish-brown bricks.'

Parrot Bebop Drone Pairs With Your Smartphone
'Over a radius of several miles Sonya's raytron apparatus could direct its flight [using] an image of all that the lens eye saw.'

SCRIBE Enables Distributed Genomically Encoded Memory
Genomic DNA for analog, rewritable, and flexible memory.

Artisanal 3D Printing By Martha Stewart
'Nanofax AG offers a technology that digitally reproduces objects, physically, at a distance.'

Knightscope Robot Security Guards Ready
'A robot guard appeared, streaking toward them across the field.'

Bullet-Proof Kevlar Woven Electronics
'Check the watch imprinted on his sleeve...'

USAF 'BATMAN' Wrist Display
'The tiny screen in the bracelet's center...'

CoBots - Collaborative Robots Ask Humans For Help
'Whenever a robot finds something it can't identify... You give it a good look.'

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.