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Materiable Interface Can Change Its Shape and Material Properties: Jake the Desk

by Lambert Varias
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In 2013, MIT’s Tangible Media Group unveiled inFORM, a form of interaction that uses a series of actuated pins to change the shape of its surface. The group’s researchers are building on inFORM with what they’re calling Materiable, which can not only change its shape but also simulate varying degrees of flexibility, elasticity and viscosity.

materiable_shape_material_property_changing_interface_by_MIT_Tangible_Media_Group_1zoom in

Like inFORM, Materiable’s pins can be assigned with different properties at the same time. For instance, the left side can be bouncy while the right side is rigid. We can detect and infer information from these properties using our sense of touch, making it a potentially great interface for virtual experiments and educational presentations.

Imagine a having a buddy whose body is made of millions of tiny Materiables. You could go on mathematical adventures together. Or kill the leader of the Human Resistance.

[via MIT Tangible Media Group via Fast Co. Design]



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