Breaking the Glass at The Hay Festival

Companion Website for Breaking the Glass Hay Festival Talk

Thanks a lot for coming to our talk - Breaking the Glass: The Future of Screen Technology - we hope you enjoyed. This is the companion website to our talk, to give you some additional information about the prototypes demonstrated and to make you aware of our wider project, Breaking the Glass. In our talk, we aimed to give you a picture of some of the research we do at the FIT Lab, to make you think about current technologies that impact us all daily, and inspire you to think beyond them.

Better Together

The Better Together framework is designed to disaggregate the components of services, allowing separate mobile phones to each represent and provide a single component of the overall interaction. For more information, check out the following links:

Cross-Device Media

Interacting with a mobile device while watching TV is something most of us do. We work with the BBC towards the design of new exciting multi-screen experiences for users. In this demo we explore how duplicate display elements can be used to assist viewers in not missing key moments on each device. For more information, check out the following links:

Chameleon Devices

By leaving devices out in public we expose them to risks (e.g., theft). Chameleon devices aim to blend into their surroundings, allowing for only subtle notifications to alert the user when interacted with. In this demo we show how a phone can blend into a piece of fabric to avoid detection. For more information visit:

Plant Interactions

Unlike much modern technology, plants offer a rich spectrum of tactile sensations, colours and smells. Here, we think about computer interfaces through the lens of nature. In this demo, we see how something as natural as a plant can be used to control something as un-natural as a digital computer game. For more information about this project visit:


Tablehop is a self-actuating table top display which uses electrostatically actuated electrodes to provide deformations and vibro-tactile feedback. For more information visit:


Sparkle explores how we may provide tactile sensations to users via high-voltage electric arcs of over 12,000 volts. Though high-voltage, these sparks are totally safe due to low power. For more information visit:


Emergeables are mobile surfaces that can deform or ‘morph’ to provide fully-actuated, tangible controls. Our goal in this work is to provide the flexibility of graphical touchscreens, coupled with the affordance and tactile benefits offered by physical widgets. For more information see:

Liquid Metals

Using electrical switching we are exploring how one may provide visio-tactile sensations through moving liquid metals. Our vision in this, our current work, is to introduce programmable materials within displays to provide rich tactile feedback.

GaIn Spreading


We gratefully thank our collaborators around the world. Our talk was enabled by our project Breaking the Glass (EP/N013948/1) and the work described in our talk and on this website has been funded by the EPSRC (EP/L504865/1, EP/M00421X/1, EP/K504002/1), FETOpen scheme (#309191, #278576), as well as the BBC User Experience Research Partnership.

For more information on these talks, Contact us.