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[non-Blender] inFORM - Interacting With a Dynamic Shape Display


I think this was the most mind-blowing video that I saw this week and thought you might enjoy it, too!

inFORM writes:

inFORM is a Dynamic Shape Display that can render 3D content physically, so users can interact with digital information in a tangible way. inFORM 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.

About the Author

Avatar image for Bart Veldhuizen
Bart Veldhuizen

I have a LONG history with Blender - I wrote some of the earliest Blender tutorials, worked for Not a Number and helped run the crowdfunding campaign that open sourced Blender (the first one on the internet!). I founded BlenderNation in 2006 and have been editing it every single day since then ;-) I also run the Blender Artists forum and I'm Head of Community at Sketchfab.


  1. It's fun, but then I can't really see the use of it. You can't manipuate objects with precision. But it's still a interesting idea...

    • Its potential for visual learning alone makes it something with great potential. Why teach kids math concepts when they can visually see math concepts, come to life? I think people with imagination can find all sorts of usages for this.

      And if such technology could see further improvements in design, who knows where this could take us? Innovations are rarely seen ahead of time..

      Though, hey, I'd want one just to play around with for hours. It's novelty value alone has me sold! I'll take two!

      • True that once there's a technology there will always be someone to find use of it.
        When use say math, you mean like plotting 3D curves ? Maybe ...

        But as Zomby-bot said, this could be a new way to interact for blind people.

        • Well, what I mean is that mathematics is often difficult for many children (and even many adults, for that matter) to learn in a traditional pen-and-paper manner because they often have a hard time visualizing abstract concepts. It's also hard to make math interesting to most people, because it's not really the kind of stuff you can see the full effects of what you're doing in real-time.

          Most people find numbers mundane. But translate those numbers into illustrative representations, and suddenly, it comes alive. You can take it a step further by adding interactivity with the representation, and suddenly, not only is the learning alive, but it's fun and people start wanting to do more.

          Of course, it'd be no replacement for traditional means of learning (I don't think any one technology is perfect), but it'd be a smart way to introduce new concepts. Imagine if your first short but dynamic introduction to learning, say, wave-particle duality was from one of these things at school--you never would forget your that interesting experience!

          The advent of 3D computer graphics has helped a lot in literal visualization of abstract mathematical and scientific concepts, but I think it's through the added dimension of physical interaction that's really carries the most potential for learning. I would say that it could be even more effective than holograms, because despite our break-neck pace with furthering virtual reality, people will always like physical things they can feel and physically interact with.

          While this technology above on display here wouldn't be the particularly well-suited for all situations, it could be very useful for making things like chart/graphing visualizations, visual/interactive geography and some interactive demonstrations in physics come alive, and if it can help do that much, it's worth giving it a shot, I say. It can be either a great visual aid or a great interactive aid--or both at the same time.

          And like I said, if the technology sees refinement (perhaps finer resolutions of those blocks or organic-LED integration so that colors and images can be rendered as well as forms), we might start to see its potential in other applications easier. We could begin to take the idea even further than novelty and onto everyday practicality.

          Heck, if we could produce stronger and far more advance versions of this tech, we might even finally invent dynamic floors, that can change their shape and move you across the floor, or change steps into a ramp! I'm sure someone in a wheelchair could greatly appreciate such a thing. It all starts with a simple concept and we build from there.

  2. THIS. crossed with Ti's DLP chip for microscopic pins, a 30MHz response rate, and as E-Paper.
    I want my tactile feedback display NOW. One that can double as a speaker.
    Imagine a touch screen you can actually FEEL the edges of the buttons for.
    P.S. FireFox doesn't seem to like Disqus. I had to break down and use IE to post this.

  3. The fantastic side of my brain says this could be massive for space/cavernous/Rover situations, and the realist side of my brain simply says this is be able to reach through a monitor, from potentially an unknown distance.

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