Created at the Tangible Media Group / MIT Media Lab, inFORM is a Dynamic Shape Display that can render 3D content physically, so users can interact with digital information in a tangible way. After the leaked video the project went viral on YouTube last week, the team have now put out the full documentation of the project including some making of information + images and videos for CAN.
The first version of inFORM project was called Relief, and subsequently Recompose. Their initial attempt at prototyping the interface was called Contour. inFORM is a project 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 their vision of Radical Atoms. 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. They propose utilising 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.