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  • I am a PhD student.

  • And that means I have a question:

  • How can we make digital content graspable?

  • Because you see, on the one hand, there is the digital world

  • and no question, many things are happening there right now.

  • And for us humans, it's not quite material, it's not really there --

  • it's virtual.

  • On the other hand,

  • we're humans, we live in a physical world.

  • It's rich, it tastes good, it feels good, it smells good.

  • So the question is:

  • How do we get the stuff over from the digital into the physical?

  • That's my question.

  • If you look at the iPhone with its touch

  • and the Wii with its bodily activity,

  • you can see the tendency; it's getting physical.

  • The question is: What's next?

  • Now, I have three options that I would like to show you.

  • The first one is mass.

  • As humans, we are sensitive to where an object in our hand is heavy.

  • So could we use that in mobile phones?

  • Let me show you the weight-shifting mobile.

  • It is a mobile phone-shaped box

  • that has an iron weight inside, which we can move around,

  • and you can feel where it's heavy.

  • We shift the gravitational center of it.

  • For example, we can augment digital content with physical mass.

  • So you move around the content on the display,

  • but you can also feel where it is just from the weight of the device.

  • Another thing it's good for is navigation.

  • It can guide you around in a city.

  • It can tell you by its weight,

  • "OK, move right. Walk ahead. Make a left here."

  • And the good thing about that is,

  • you don't have to look at the device all the time;

  • you have your eyes free to see the city.

  • Now, mass is the first thing --

  • the second thing, that's shape.

  • We're also sensitive to the shape of objects we have in our hands.

  • So if I download an e-book and it has 20 pages --

  • well, they could be thin, right?

  • But if it has 500 pages, I want to feel that "Harry Potter" --

  • it's thick.

  • (Laughter)

  • So let me show you the shape-changing mobile.

  • Again, it's a mobile phone-shaped box,

  • and this one can change its shape.

  • We can play with the shape itself.

  • For example, it can be thin in your pocket,

  • which we of course want it to be.

  • But then if you hold it in your hand, it can lean towards you, be thick.

  • It's like tapered to the downside.

  • If you change the grasp, it can adjust to that.

  • It's also useful if you want to put it down on your nightstand

  • to watch a movie or use as an alarm clock.

  • It stands.

  • It's fairly simple.

  • Another thing is,

  • sometimes we watch things on a mobile phone

  • that are bigger than the phone itself.

  • In that case -- like here, there's an app

  • that's bigger than the phone's screen --

  • the shape of the phone could tell you,

  • "OK, off the screen, right here, there is more content.

  • You can't see it, but it's there."

  • And you can feel it, because it's thicker at that edge.

  • The shape is the second thing.

  • The third thing operates on a different level.

  • As humans, we are social, we are empathic,

  • and that's great.

  • Wouldn't that be a way to make mobile phones more intuitive?

  • Think of a hamster in the pocket.

  • Well, I can feel it, it's doing all right. I don't have to check it.

  • (Laughter)

  • Let me show you the living mobile phone.

  • So, once again, a mobile phone-shaped box.

  • But this one, it has a breath and a heartbeat,

  • and it feels very organic.

  • (Laughter)

  • And you can tell, it's relaxed right now.

  • Oh, now -- missed call, a new call,

  • new girlfriend, maybe -- very exciting.

  • (Laughter)

  • How do we calm it down?

  • You give it a pat behind the ears,

  • and everything is all right again.

  • That's very intuitive, and that's what we want.

  • So what we have seen are three ways to make the digital graspable for us.

  • And I think making it physical is a good way to do that.

  • What's behind that is a postulation,

  • namely, not that humans should get much more technical in the future;

  • rather than that, technology, a bit more human.

  • (Applause)

I am a PhD student.

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A2 US TED mobile phone shape digital physical weight

【TED】Fabian Hemmert: The shape-shifting future of the mobile phone (Fabian Hemmert: The shape-shifting future of the mobile phone)

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    Zenn posted on 2017/05/22
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