RSS On A Coke Can? The Future Of Computing Is Flexible And Everywhere
Roel Vertegaal and The Human Media Lab at Queens University are busy developing disruptive technologies that will shape the future of computing. The lab’s current focus is on organic user interfaces that allow computers to take on any shape or form. Vertegaal’s mind blowing prototypes utilize three major advances in computer technology; multi touch inputs, flexible displays and kinetic organic interface. While the first two of the technologies are fairly well known, and in the early stages of public use, the third (Kinetic Organic Interface) are where things really start veering off into scifi territory.
Kinetic Organic Interface (KOI), the third development, enables the design of computers that adjust their shape according to some computational outcome, or through interactions with users. This is expected to yield “Claytronic” 3D displays capable of displaying not just pictures, but physical shapes in three dimensions.
They’ve also come up with radical concepts like RSS feeds and movie trailers on the side of a soda can, and paper based computers that you flip back and forth to navigate. Vertegaal sees the labs work as as nothing short of a revolution:
He compares our current use of flat, rectangular computers to the 19th-century satiric novel, Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions, about people who live in only two dimensions and are narrow-minded as a result. “I think computers are very much like that today,” Dr. Vertegaal suggests. “You are essentially looking at a tiny tunnel into a flat, on-line world, and that causes people to think in a two-dimensional way. ‘Flatland’ interfaces are incredibly limited compared to natural 3D ones.”Three recent developments in computer technology have allowed inventors to move beyond the rigid, rectangular design of current devices.