Over the past several years, the touchscreen interface has increasingly become one of the most common ways that we interact with our electronic devices.
Our smartphones have touchscreens, our computers have touchscreens and even some of our remote controls have touchscreens — but MIT’s latest invention could change the way that we think about touching our devices.
Over the weekend, the MIT Media Lab shared a video of a “Shape Changing Interface” called the LineFORM. This odd looking robot consists of a linear series of motors that are capable of twisting and turning into various shapes, allowing MIT to explore “new possibilities for display, interaction, and body constraint.”
The first series of demos are the most impressive, as a LineFORM sitting on a table detects an arm, wraps up over it and begins functioning as a smartwatch of sorts. When the user receives a notification, the device will begin twitching. At this point, the user can remove the LineFORM, lay it flat on the table and watch it rearrange into the shape of a “smartphone display.”
Type on the device, pull your hand away and then watch the device morph once again, this time into the shape of a working landline.
You’ve got to see it to believe it: