The 4th ACM SIGGRAPH Conference and Exhibition on Computer Graphics and Interactive Techniques in Asia
Conference 12-15 December • Exhibition 13-15 December • Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Centre

Emerging Technologies

Ninja Track

In the upcoming ubicomp era, various ideas have been proposed regarding user interfaces which can control analog materials. These studies focus on computers altering the physical properties of objects such as shape, color, and fur effects; as well as animating liquids and paper. Based on these premises of phase transitioning objects, we are investigating these ideas further to see how they transform our future lifestyles. We call such objects 'Phase Transition-ish Apparatus(PTA)'. The transformation of thermodynamic systems is a representative example of phase transition (e.g. water freezes at 0 degrees and boils at 100 degrees). One aspect of such transformation is that of flexibility. We present below a future vision where everyday objects and interfaces are equipped with such characteristics. Think of splints - if they were made of such PTA, they could be folded into compact flexible fabric and carried easily by riders and climbers. During casualties, the splints would regain their structure, strength and rigidity by simply being turned into a strong stick. The prototype Ninja Track which we made as an example of PTA, provides the following functionalities: 1. The instant change in flexibility. 2. To become an interface to computers with the help of sensors and actuators. 3. A 'multi-function device' which changes its functions according to interactions.

Yuichiro Katsumoto, National University of Singapore
Masa Inakage, Keio University