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MIT, inFORM, Radical Atoms - and the Mindblowing Future of 3D Displays and Physical Interaction (VIDEO)



This is a truly mindblowing development from a group of extremely talented and visionary people at the Tangible Media Group at the MIT Media Lab - a "Dynamic Shape Display" called inFORM that allows remote participants, using video conferencing technology, to physically manipulate real objects in an entirely different space - even on an entirely different continent. Cool music, too!

How long before we can virtually shake hands?





Here's more information about inFORM from the Tangible Media Group's own webpage:

inFORM

Daniel Leithinger, Sean Follmer, Alex Olwal, Akimitsu Hogge, Hiroshi Ishii / 2013

inFORM is a Dynamic Shape Display that can render 3D content physically, so users can interact with digital information in a tangible way. inFORM can also interact with the physical world around it, for example moving objects on the table’s surface. Remote participants in a video conference can be displayed physically, allowing for a strong sense of presence and the ability to interact physically at a distance. inFORM is a step toward our vision of Radical Atoms: http://tangible.media.mit.edu/vision/

For press inquiries email: sfollmer (at) mit (dot) edu and daniell (at) mit (dot) edu


We are currently exploring a number of application domains for the inFORM shape display. One area we are working on is Geospatial data, such as maps, GIS, terrain models and architectural models. Urban planners and Architects can view 3D designs physically and better understand, share and discuss their designs. We are collaborating with the urban planners in the Changing Places group at MIT on this (http://cp.media.mit.edu/). In addition, inFORM would allow 3D Modelers and Designers to prototype their 3D designs physically without 3D printing (at a low resolution). Finally, cross sections through Volumetric Data such as medical imaging CT scans can be viewed in 3D physically and interacted with. We would like to explore medical or surgical simulations. We are also very intrigued by the possibilities of remotely manipulating objects on the table.

Past research on shape displays has primarily focused on rendering content and user interface elements through shape output, with less emphasis on dynamically changing UIs. We propose utilizing shape displays in three different ways to mediate interaction: to facilitate by providing dynamic physical affordances through shape change, to restrict by guiding users with dynamic physical constraints, and to manipulate by actuating physical objects. We explore potential interaction techniques and introduce Dynamic Physical Affordances and Constraints with our inFORM system, built on top of a state-of-the-art shape display, which provides for variable stiffness rendering and real-time user input through direct touch and tangible interaction. A set of example applications demonstrates how dynamic affordances, constraints and object actuation can create novel interaction possibilities.


Credits:
Daniel Leithinger, Sean Follmer, Hiroshi Ishii


Academic Support:
Alex Olwal


Software Engineering Support:
Akimitsu Hogge, Tony Tang, Philip Schoessler


Hardware Engineering Support:
Ryan Wistort, Guangtao Zhang, Cheteeri Smith, Alyx Daly, Pat Capulong, Jason Moran


Video and Photo Support:
Basheer Tome, Jifei Ou


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