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Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Calm Software

We were members of the MIT Media Lab for some time and I got to visit many times.   The most unusual and intriguing part of it was the 'Tangible Media Group', which I recalled then studied things identifying themselves, known as RFID, which we spent lots of time testing.   But in organizing tours it was hard to find many other applications of tangible media that would be practical for a company like ours.   Here is another of those things, am intrigued but also mystified.  Their further list of projects  is worth a look.

MIT researchers turn water into 'calm' software
The Tangible Media Group has some bold ideas for the future of computing.   By Aaron Souppouris, @AaronIsSocial in Engadget

Our lives are busy and full of distractions. Modern computing. with its constant notifications and enticing red bubbles next to apps, seems designed to keep us enthralled. MIT Media Lab's Tangible Media Group wants to change that by crafting "calm interfaces."

The Tangible Media Group demonstrated a way to precisely transport droplets of liquid across a surface back in January, which it called "programmable droplets." The system is essentially just a printed circuit board, coated with a low-friction material, with a grid of copper wiring on top. By programmatically controlling the electric field of the grid, the team is able to change the shape of polarizable liquid droplets and move them around the surface. The precise control is such that droplets can be both merged and split.

Moving on from the underlying technology, the team is now focused on showing how we might leverage the system to create, play and communicate through natural materials. .... " 

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