Dynamic Physical Rendering will mean objects change shape
Intel is researching dynamic physical rendering, using silicon to create three dimensional objects on the fly that can be touched and changed.
The application is still very sci-fi, but the idea behind the project is that it will create what could be described as a touchable, malleable hologram. If it comes to fruition, it will need massive amounts of computing power, and fits tightly into Intel's belief that the world is rapidly moving towards teraflop computing.
The 'hologram' is made up of balls that contain silicon, called Catoms (Claytronic atoms) by Carnegie Mellon University (which is also working on the project), when put together they can then be made to look like any object desired, and continually altered. The term Claytronics is used because the shapes are like hi-tech modelling clay.
One idea, as you can see from the attached video, would be to use it to work on a design for a car, having a 3D model that can be dynamically shaped, handled, have its colours altered, and show what the car would like inside - despite effectively being a computer generated model.
Other ideas put forward by Intel include using it for medical operations, using an exact physcial representation of the patient being operated on by a surgeon in a remote location, whose moves are then mimiced on the real patient.
The project leaders believe it is around a decade away from completion, but it has reached the stage of working on a 2D programmable antenna.
A spokesman from the project said: “Future prototypes will be three dimensional. They will be tangible and you can interact with them.”
Intel has produced a full explanation of dynamic physical rendering on its site, which explains in detail the science behind the research.
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