See the concept poster here: Actuated Pixels.pdf
Actuated pixels' (AP) takes on the sci-fi concept of Iron Man's floating holograms and glass-based touch screens and combines them with recent prototypes in haptic interaction, such as the inForce concept developed by the Tangible Media Lab.
A noticeable issue with modern touch technology that sci-fi often don't have is the ability to reach out and touch the information in front of their person. Looking to our everyday life technology, it is mostly limited to flat 2D screens that offer little to none sense of physical realism upon touching the pixels on the screen. This issue is ever more present for vision-impaired or blind users who require additional assistive software such as speech interfaces to interact with the same technology most of us see as integral to our everyday life.
AP makes use of micro-actuators that pushes on a flexible screen to create an elevated area where its digital counterpart is located, such as text, braille (text for visually impaired users) or a button, allowing the user to see and touch the element simultaneously. In this way, developers can elevate their design to include how users not only see their front-end but also how the information should feel like on touch. With that said, AP's technology is not limited to screens only as it could easily be repurposed into other areas such as sensing electric wiring in walls or handheld devices allowing blind people to navigate streets more easily.
The playfulness of AP comes from the added dimension of sensing information using your fingertips and through allowing digitally generated physical representations that take shape of interface metaphors that are familiar to the user. AP can allow for a novel way of interacting with information that may very well become the new normal for a wide range of users.
actuatedpixels actuated touch tangible neumorphism week2