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Digital foam technology transforms HMIs

04 April, 2013

UniSA researcher Dr Ross Smith has presented his digital foam technology at the recent Mini Maker Faire in Adelaide.

The technology, which allows clay-like sculpting of physical 'foam' to instantly transform into 3D designs on the computer screen, was developed at the University’s Wearable Computer Lab and has potential for a number of real world applications.

"Instead of using a keyboard and mouse, digital foam allows clay-like sculpting with our fingers to create 3D models," Dr Smith who is based at UniSA’s Division of Information Technology, Engineering and the Environment, said.

"It recognises and responds to touch and is designed to allow you to squash, pinch and poke its surface to create your own 3D designs.

"Many applications for digital foam are anticipated, from human-computer interfaces for mobile devices and home entertainment games controllers, to medical mannequins used for training surgeons and doctors."

Dr Peter Schumacher, lecturer in Industrial Design at UniSA, will also be involved in the Mini Maker Faire, putting a variety of student work on display to show the community what industrial design is all about.

"People may never have heard of industrial design, but anyone interested in making will love what we do," Dr Schumacher says.

"The practice of industrial design is based largely on learning by doing and making, so we have a natural affinity with the techniques, processes and aims of the maker community."

An initiative of the ‘do it yourself’ magazine MAKE, the Adelaide Mini Maker Faire will be an interactive experience where attendees have the chance to explore the latest projects from a range of inventors, from backyard tinkerers to scientists.

Maker Faire originated in San Mateo in California and in 2012, it celebrated its seventh annual show with 800 makers and 110,000 people in attendance.

The Mini Maker Faire Adelaide is a free public event, being presented by ANAT (Australian Network for Art and Technology) and taking place inside the Adelaide College of the Arts in Light Square on Saturday April 6, 10am-6pm. 

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alan trodden | Wednesday, May 1, 2013, 8:47 AM
Interesting artical, but a bit late as the event was on 3 weeks before you informed us