Incredible Table Can Instantly Replicate 3D Objects

Henry Baker
November 13, 2013

With seemingly only marginal increases in most pieces of technology, it's not often that you come across something that legitimately makes you say "wow." And we would've never expected to say that about a table. But leave it to the MIT Tangible Media Group at the MIT Media Lab to come up with something we've never seen before. It's called the inForm, and as Tangible explains, it can, "render 3D content physically, so users can interact with digital information in a tangible way." Basically, the table has a large network of pins, cabling, and actuators underneath, all hooked up to a computer.

The computer takes info from a kinect camera, or from formulas for custom designs, and outputs the same shape, instantaneously, on top of the table. And the practical uses are pretty cool. The pins are so precise that they can move objects, or form custom shapes. They can even be controlled from the top.

The MIT team says that practical uses for the contraption could be 3D-mapping, advanced CT scans for medicine, or most simply, video conferencing. One could imagine the advantage to having a physical representation of a design present when doing a teleconference. But really, it just looks like a whole lot of fun to operate.

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