Tuesday, November 19, 2013

InFORM, MIT's New Medium

MIT’s media group presented it’s new digital medium called inFORM, recently.  This technology allows individuals to interact with digital media tangibly through the stimulation from the individual and reception and reaction of the board. Conversely, interaction of the digital media with the physical world also takes place with the ability to move objects on the board through. The keys also change color and take on a chameleon facility.

The technology being used is the Kinect motion sensor, which you might be familiar with if you use Xbox: it recreates scanned body movements onto the board of 900 motorized “physical pixels.” The movement you see is feedback from actuators and linkages powering the system under the table, and the overhead, Kinect sensor and projector.

Pneumatic actuators, of which cylinders are the most common,
are the devices providing power and movement to automated
systems, machines and processes. A pneumatic cylinder is a
simple, low cost, easy to install device that is ideal for
producing powerful linear movement over a wide range of
velocities, and can be stalled without causing internal damage.

An actuator is a type of motor for moving or controlling a mechanism or system. It is operated by a source of energy, typically electric current, hydraulic fluid pressure, or pneumatic pressure, and converts that energy into motion. An actuator is the mechanism by which a control system acts upon an environment. -Wiki
Convert and output are associated words with actuators.

I think the potential for this technology has to do with Skype, the ability to telecommunicate. The board will erect 3D images, using “pixels,” as it already does but less, chunky, if you will. Maybe the clarity and vibrancy of the pixels could become more enhanced to the point that semi-holographic representations of people are made.
My outlandish idea is, what if what they call “pixels” or “pins” (like the child’s toy that has many pins and conforms to the shape of your fingers when pressed,) could rise and conform into a human-like representation with all of the colors enhanced to the point of near-realism.

Here is what the article “InForm: MIT technology makes it possible to 'be' two places at once” has said concerning inForm’s potential.

“As an interface and display, InForm has potential applications ranging from education, 3D prototyping, and surgical simulations to urban planning, architecture, and map making.”
“The group sees InForm as progress toward its Radical Atoms goal, which is to develop interactive materials that can dynamically change shape like pixels on a screen.” -Tim Hornyak

I don’t think inForm is in it’s final form.



Click link to see video: http://vimeo.com/79179138

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