Our Motivation and Vision

Mobile phone and tablet touch screens are flat, dead surfaces. Our work seeks to explore the potential of a far more fluid, 'alive' portable display. It departs radically from existing deformable research by endeavouring to provide truly direct interaction with affordances, controls and content integrated within a visual display. We will be highly ambitious and adventurous, pushing the boundaries of technical possibility and being inspired by perspectives from deformations in the animal world through a Co-I and team from biosciences. Our work will be further grounded and informed by our end-user partner, BBC R&D. The outcome will be scenarios, interaction styles and a range of fully-functional prototypes that will enable us to map out a design space to drive developments in both display materials and a richer, expressive toolkit of gestures and manipulation on touch surfaces. Consider the following scenarios that illustrate the possibilities of the new technology and user interfaces:

A slider with a dynamic, variable size button emerges from the screen with a pin-to-pixel mapping method.

We propose a number of transformative benefits of the novel surfaces and architectures we will construct:

The team combines world leading researchers with expertise in: user experience, hardware and materials innovation, electronics, design space analysis and biosciences.