The floating magnetic object can be placed in mid-air and can be moved by hand or computer.

Jinha Lee, a research assistant at the MIT Media Lab, in collaboration with Rehmi Post and Hiroshi Ishii, has created a prototype called ZeroN that acts as a tactile user interface. ZeroN is an orb that defies gravity and can be left suspended in mid-air. This physical and digital interaction element floats and moves in space by computer-controlled magnetic levitation.

ZeroN can be levitated and moved freely by hand or computer in a 3D space. Users can place or move the ZeroN just as they would place any other object on a surface. Once levitated, ZeroN's behavior can be digitally programmed and it can remember how it has been moved. So when the user moves and releases it, it continues to float and starts to move along the same path. ZeroN can even serve as a virtual camera or light source in a 3D scene. It could have many applications in fields such as animation prototyping, physics education, and 3D design studios. Take a look at ZeroN in action in the video below:

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