A few years ago I discovered this link that amazed me and inspired me to design things that think outside the box. This project, run by the Tangible Media Group in MIT (founded and led by Professor Hiroshi Ishii), is a table made up of hundreds of little square beams that move up and down at the command of a computer that is reading visual 3d information via a Kinect Sensor. Essentially it maps out a hand or basket or whatever you put under the Sensor, and recreates that shape in real time on the table’s beams by moving them into place. This way you can move objects, create shapes and much more. See the video to understand what I’m talking about and how awesome it really is.
I love the simplicity of the idea, how well it’s been implemented, and the potential for an even more accurate version by making the square beams smaller and smaller, possibly creating an infinitely accurate 3D scape/recreation. Sort of like pixels- it has a low resolution now but will only get better.
For full project information, credits, and more, check out their site here.