Project Title: inFORM

Project Creator:  Tangible Media Group – MIT

Description: The Tangible Media Group’s vision of the world couples the virtual and the tangible. In that vein of thought, they created a “dynamic shape display” for digital information to be expressed in a tangible, “real world” way. The display employs the use of Kinect, a bunch of actuators, various displays, custom Arduinos, and software.

Response: With relatively simple materials, this project really showcases how close we think the future is. It was only recently that the computer (and thus the virtual playing field) was invented and we could manipulate that world. Now that it’s successfully integrated into life, perhaps we are learning how the digital can manipulate our world.

I like the idea. I think that it’s a picture perfect copy of how I think we expect the future to look like. Visually, all the white blocks and voxels really makes me think of the aesthetics employed to indicate the future, at least.

The limitations of the hardware makes itself apparent in the demo video (with limited height of the actuators and the fact that it is indeed just a solid rod), but it only highlights how if we throw enough money into a project like this, it could go above and beyond. The documentation is done really well; it showcases just what cool stuff you can do with it.

Of course, building something like this is probably out of our scope as newbies with limited time and money, but it’s nice to think about.