The technology around communication is constantly evolving — I can still remember when cellphones looked like ridiculously large play toys. We’ve come a long way since then! These days, many of us use Skype or Facetime to communicate with our friends and family — which is great, especially if you’re long distance. However, wouldn’t it be great if you could reach out and touch the loved ones you’re missing? Thanks to a group of students at MIT, in the future, you’ll be able to do just that! This was amazing to watch — I can’t wait for the day when I’ll be able to communicate with my long distance friends and family through touch!
TRANSFORM fuses technology and design to celebrate its transformation from a piece of still furniture to a dynamic machine driven by the stream of data and energy. Created by Professor Hiroshi Ishii and the Tangible Media Group from the MIT Media Lab, TRANSFORM aims to inspire viewers with unexpected transformations, as well as the aesthetics of the complex machine in motion.
The work is comprised of three dynamic shape displays that move more than one thousand pins up and down in realtime to transform the tabletop into a dynamic tangible display. The kinetic energy of the viewers, captured by a sensor, drives the wave motion represented by the dynamic pins.
The motion design is inspired by the dynamic interactions among wind, water and sand in nature, Escher’s representations of perpetual motion, and the attributes of sand castles built at the seashore. TRANSFORM tells the story of the conflict between nature and machine, and its reconciliation, through the ever-changing tabletop landscape.