The Tangible media group ,of The MIT Media Lab, headed by Professor Hiroshi Ishii have developed a 3D morphing table that could re-create a 3D object in real time at a remote place. Any object placed under the camera that records the 3D aspects of the objects are sent to the morphing table that reproduces the object in real time.
They call this morphing table inFORM, may be as it reproduces the object in form. inForm makes physical interactions of individuals possible over a video conference and enable better communication. The demo shows a display coupled with the inForm which makes us feel as if the person is really moving those objects here though he is at a remote place.
The purpose of inFORM does not end with this. It can be used for creating 3D objects, manually modifying a 3D model, reproducing terrains using the satellite data, GIS, maps, terrain models and architectural models. Prototyping of 3D models can be done easily at low resolutions with this table. Also medical data from scans and other imaging studies can be translated using this table in 3D for better study by the doctors.
The research team has also coupled a UI that projects over the table to allow the user to take control over the environment. If the number of bits used to reproduce the image are increased, the resolution of the produced pattern also increases giving a finer representation of what is seen and felt. The team is on a hunt to find the endless possibilities for its application in various fields. Who knows what he future has for us.
Here is a video on the demo of inFORM for quenching your thirst to see it in action. Do share.