That crazy 3D interactive monitor is called the inFORM, here’s what it can do (VIDEO)


posted Wednesday, November 13, 2013 at 2:23 PM EDT


Last week, we posted about an MIT project that could replicate shapes in 3D using a set of vertical shafts and a camera. Today that project has a name, it's called the inFORM, and it's far more impressive than we had originally suspected.

The video below shows the incredible array of potential uses the inFORM could have. More than just replicating movements and shape between two locations (which is plenty cool on its own), it can also be used for visualizations, as a three dimensional way of interacting with a computer, for playing games, even for cellphone notifications.

What's particularly impressive is how they use the red ball as both a toy to play with, and almost like a mouse cursor to adjust what's being displayed on the surface.

According to the people behind it, they're working on a number of uses for the inFORM:

We are currently exploring a number of application domains for the inFORM shape display. One area we are working on is Geospatial data, such as maps, GIS, terrain models and architectural models. Urban planners and Architects can view 3D designs physically and better understand, share and discuss their designs. We are collaborating with the urban planners in the Changing Places group at MIT on this ( In addition, inFORM would allow 3D Modelers and Designers to prototype their 3D designs physically without 3D printing (at a low resolution). Finally, cross sections through Volumetric Data such as medical imaging CT scans can be viewed in 3D physically and interacted with. We would like to explore medical or surgical simulations. We are also very intrigued by the possibilities of remotely manipulating objects on the table.

The height map for generating the table's surface is created using a hacked Microsoft Kinect, which is then relayed to the motor beneath the table, which raises and lowers each pin appropriately.

While we're willing to bet you won't see the inFORM in stores any time soon, give it a decade of research, and better resolution, and you could be looking at the future of touch interfaces.


(via FastCo Design, the Verge)