GiGadgets | GiGadgets | Imagination Meets Reality With inForm

Imagination Meets Reality With inForm
An innovation in design.
Sreoshi Bakshi
By Sreoshi Bakshi
Mar 22, 2018

If you are an individual who either likes designing or is associated with a profession where it’s part of the job description, then you must have at some point fantasized about seeing your designs materialize in front of you. Well, that fantasy may soon become a reality thanks to the researchers at Tangible Media Group, MIT Media Lab.

Tangible Media Group, MIT Media Lab created the inFORM with a one purpose that is to give physical shape to any kind of digital data. 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. The researchers are exploring the idea of using inFORM in a large number of application domains, such as Geospatial Data. InFORM can be used in the future to visualize maps, GIS (geographic information system), terrain and architectural models.

With the use of inFORM architects and urban planners can view 3D designs physically, which will in turn help them understand and discuss them better. InFORM would also help 3D modelers and designers to prototype their designs without 3D printing. Volumetric data such as medical imaging CT scans can also be viewed in a physical way with the use of inFORM. The researchers are also trying to explore the field of Medical and surgical simulations. This could radically change the way how diseases are diagnosed and treated. In the past research on shape displays has focused on rendering content and UI elements through shape output. But with inFORM, the focus is more on changing the UI itself. InFORM is trying to change the way an individual operates data i.e. by generating physical objects, through direct touch and physical movements. So instead of utilization of UI elements to deliver data the focus is on actual tangible physical interaction. 

InFORM may bring a radical change in the way data is handled in the future. Ultimately this will simplify the way we visualize and handle data. InFORM is a step toward our vision of Radical Atoms, a start of a new era in the field of science and technology. 

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