The User-Interface Of Tomorrow

Posted on Friday, 26 Feb 2016

In this TED-talk Sean Follmer, Human-computer interaction researcher and designer, presents a ground breaking technology that could change the way we live, work and collaborate. His 3D shape shifting table is a great example of a tool that's an integration of the analogue and digital - digilogue

As tools has become more complex, we need more complex tools to control them and so designers have become very adept at creating interfaces that allow you to manipulate parameters while you're attending to other things, such as taking a photograph and changing the focus or the aperture, says Follmer in this TED-talk. 

Follmer argue that we need new types of interfaces that can adapt to us and capture the rich abilities that we have. He thinks that we should try to make information physical, because then we can interact with it in new and innovative ways. 

One of the objects he is speaking about in the TED-talk is TRANSFORM which is an interactive table that have the capability to move physical objects. The table consists of thousands of mobile pins that can sense movements in the kinetic energy of the sorrounding - this means that when you are swiping your hand over the table the pins will move and change form and pattern. 


With TRANSFORM Fellmore and his colleagues wanted to create a responsive furniture that adapts to the user and allows them to collaborate in new ways. The project was presented during Milan Design Week in 2014.  

As a finishing remark in his presentation Fellmore encourage us to focus less on smart devices and focus more on the concept of smart rooms and smart environments that can adapt to us physically and bring people together. 

What will the digital user-interface of tomorrow look like and how will it shape the future of work? Will it remain mostly graphical as it is today or will it be physical like the 3D table TRANSFORM? My guess is that we will see more and more solutions like the ones Fellmore talks about where information is not only visualized, but integrated in the analogue world so that you can interact with the information in a tangible way.

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