inForm, a project from MIT, is a surface composed on 1,000 pins moving up and down to recreate shapes dynamically.
Even if 1,000 pins are not really enough to look smooth (I want anti-aliasing!), this prototype shows how we care about physical interaction. Holograms and AR goggles are great, but feeling for real brings such a higher immersion…
Once inForm gets portable, this kind of shape – coupled with a webcam – may possibly be used by blind people to feel the obstacles in front of them. Could also be used to make remote massage!
PS. This reminds me an old-style video, the 8-bit trip.