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.
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.