MIT’s inFORM Dynamic Shape Display





” In early November, two MIT PhD students, Daniel Leithinger and Sean Follmer, introduced an eye-catching project from the MIT Media Lab: A table built with motors, linkages and pins, that can render a person physically in real time via a digital source. Some articles hailed the technology with potential to change the world and others were captivated by its strange, almost science fiction-type quality. The consensus was that this thing was really, really cool. But for a concept so complex, the initial idea came from a simple beginning. “




“ We were inspired by those pinscreen toys where you press your hand on one end, and it shows on the other side,” Leithinger says. However, the 15-by-15-inch table, known as inFORM, is much more complicated than a toy. Leithinger says it’s best to imagine the device as a pinscreen, but with each pin attached to an individual motor. That’s 900 pins, each a half-inch wide, with 900 separate motors. Getting 900 motors in such a dense area was a challenge, Follmer says .”