WATCH: Researchers at MIT develop a bizarre shape-shifting table surface that will blow your mind

In the future, you’ll be able to touch things through your computer. MIT Media Lab has created a tangible interface that reproduces a realtime virtual version of whatever you put under its sensors.

Called inFORM, it uses cameras to capture objects in 3-D and then processes the information on a computer, morphing solid rods that rise and fall on a tabled surface that can interact with physical objects.

The MIT team then added a screen that shows a person manipulating the objects remotely, giving the activity a sense of human presence.

The project is a step towards the researchers’ stated ultimate goal of a “material user interface in which all digital information has a physical manifestation that people can interact with directly.”

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