TRANSFORM as Dynamic and Adaptive Furniture

TRANSFORM70 is an exploration of how shape display technology can be integrated into our everyday lives as interactive, shape changing furniture. These interfaces not only serve as traditional computing devices, but also support a variety of physical activities. By creating shapes on demand or by moving objects around, TRANSFORM changes the ergonomics, functionality and aesthetic dimensions of furniture. The video depicts a story with various scenarios of how TRANSFORM shape shifts to support a variety of use cases in the home and in the work environment: It holds and moves objects like fruits, game tokens, office supplies and tablets; creates dividers on demand; and generates interactive sculptures to convey messages and audio.


71More detailed information and public video will come soon! For now, if you are interested, please check out our paper publication, which just got the Honorable Mention Award and Best Talk at CHI2015.

BioLogic is our attempt to program living organism and invent responsive and transformational interfaces of the future.

Brief: nature has engineered its own actuators, as well as the efficient material composition, geometry and structure to utilize its actuators and achieve functional transformation. Based on the natural phenomenon of cells’ hygromorphic transformation, we introduce a living cell as a nanoactuator that react to body temperature and humidity change. The living nanoactuator can be controlled by electrical signal and communicate with the virtual world as well.A digital printing system and design simulation software are developed to assist the design of transformation structure.

Physical Telepresence

72We propose a new approach to physical telepresence, based on shared workspaces with the ability to capture and remotely render the shapes of people and objects. In this paper, we describe the concept of shape transmission, and propose interaction techniques to manipulate remote physical objects and physical renderings of shared digital content. We investigate, how the representation of user’s body parts can be altered to amplify their capabilities for teleoperation and describe our finding of building and testing prototype physical telepresence workspaces. A preliminary evaluation found users were able to manipulate simple objects remotely, and found many different techniques for manipulation that highlight the expressive nature of our system.


73THAW is a novel interaction system that allows a collocated large display and small handheld devices to seamlessly work together. The smartphone acts both as a physical interface and as an additional graphics layer for near-surface interaction on a computer screen. Our system enables accurate position tracking of a smartphone placed on or over any screen by displaying a 2D color pattern that is captured using the smartphone’s back-facing camera. The proposed technique can be implemented on existing devices without the need for additional hardware.


74Andante visualizes as animated characters walking along the piano keyboard that appear to play the physical keys with each step. Based on a view of music pedagogy that emphasizes expressive, full-body communication early in the learning process, Andante promotes an understanding of the music rooted in the body, taking advantage of walking as one of the most fundamental human rhythms.


75We use sticks as tools for a variety of activities, everything from conducting music to playing sports or even engage in combat. However, these experiences are inherently physical and are poorly conveyed through traditional digital mediums such as video. Linked-Stick is a shape-changing stick that can mirror the movements of another person’s stick-shape tool. We explore how this can be used to experience and learn music, sports and fiction in a more authentic manner. Our work attempts to expand the ways in which we interact with and learn to use tools.

Cord UIs

76Cord UIs are sensorial augmented cords that allow for simple metaphor-rich interactions to interface with their connected devices. Cords offer a large underexplored space for interactions as well as unique properties and a diverse set of metaphors that make them potentially interesting tangible interfaces. We use cords as input devices and explore different interactions like tying knots, stretching, pinching and kinking to control the flow of data and/or power. We also look at ways to use objects in combination with augmented cords to manipulate data or properties of a device. For instance, placing a clamp on a cable can obstruct the audio signal to the headphones. Using special materials such as piezo copolymer cables and stretchable cords we built five working prototypes to showcase the interactions.

Social Textiles

77The way we represent ourselves in social media is intangible. What we choose to wear is public to the world and we are aware of it. In contrast, what we post online about ourselves reaches thousands of people and generates social consequences, but it doesn’t feel that way. Is the current form of social media really making our relationships better? Current technologies are good at connecting people at a distance, but less so at connecting them within the same environment.

Social textiles embodies who you are and dynamically reflects your shared interests with people nearby. It enables you to gain access to communities of people in the physical world. It enhances social affordances by providing icebreaking interactions through wearable social messaging.

Social Textiles can serve to connect community members with niche interests, philosophical beliefs, personalities, emotional statuses and ethical views. It has the potential to enable members to bypass superficial or generic interests through “filtering” individuals, to tune social experiences towards more compatible ones.

Sticky Actuator

78We propose soft planar actuators enhanced by free-form fabrication that are suitable for making everyday objects move. The actuator consists of adhesive-backed inflatable pouches. We have developed a machine for the fabrication of free-from pouches; squares, circles and ribbons are all possible. The deformation of the pouches can provide linear, rotational, and more complicated motion corresponding to the pouch’s geometry. We also provide a both manual and programmable control system. In a user study, we organized a hands-on workshop of actuated origami for children. The results show that the combination of the actuator and classic materials can enhance rapid prototyping of animated objects.


79inFORM 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.

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