Categories: Technology

An Anti-Gravity User Interface

Researcher Jinha Lee at MIT has developed a remarkable way to interact with computers — via a programmable, intelligent and gravity-defying metal ball.

The concept, called “ZeroN”, is demonstrated in the video above. Fascinating!

[/caption]

Using magnets and computer-controlled motors, ZeroN hovers in mid-air between two control units. Its movements can be pre-programmed or it can react to objects in its environment, and it can apparently “learn” new movements as it is interacted with.

Lee demonstrates how it could be used to control camera positions in 3D applications, and (my favorite) model the motions of planets and stars.

“ZeroN is about liberating materials from the constraints of space and time by blending the physical and digital world,” Lee states on his website.

ZeroN is still in its development stages and obviously needs refining (the 3D camera isn’t much use if the ball is wobbling) but the premise is interesting. I can see something like this being, at the very least, a mesmerizing interactive display for museums, classrooms and multimedia presentations.

Of course, with a little ingenuity a whole world of applications could open up for such a zero-g interface. (I’m sure Tony Stark already has a dozen on pre-order!)

Read more about this on Co.DESIGN (tip of the electromagnetic hat to PopSci.)

Jason Major

A graphic designer in Rhode Island, Jason writes about space exploration on his blog Lights In The Dark, Discovery News, and, of course, here on Universe Today. Ad astra!

Recent Posts

One of the World's Biggest Radio Telescopes is Hunting for Signals From Extraterrestrial Civilizations

Breakthrough Listen, a privately funded project seeking evidence of extraterrestrial intelligence, has started operations on…

50 mins ago

Scientists Simulate a Wormhole, NASA’s Moon Infrastructure, China’s Space Station Crew

The best images from Artemis so far. More spacecraft are going to the Moon. Researchers…

3 hours ago

How Do Stars Get Kicked Out of Globular Clusters?

Globular clusters are densely-packed collections of stars bound together gravitationally in roughly-shaped spheres. They contain…

7 hours ago

NASA Releases Another Supercut of the Artemis I Mission, Showing the Launch and Flight Past the Moon

NASA has released a second supercut video of the Artemis I mission that captures the…

1 day ago

New Images of Titan From JWST and Keck Telescopes Reveal a Rare Observation

Planetary scientists have greatly anticipated using the James Webb Space Telescope’s infrared vision to study…

1 day ago

A Black Hole Consumed a Star and Released the Light of a Trillion Suns

When a flash of light appears somewhere in the sky, astronomers notice. When it appears…

2 days ago