Things aren’t always what they seem…

TUI

In congruence with the Chameleon Suit, I have been trying to find something that might make our shape-shifter more feasible. On this search I have come across many items that are slightly related as they change shape or are actually something they appear not to be.

One of the less relevant things I found was  the work of an artist created solely from colored pencils. The pieces, though made from such hard and seemingly simple items, convey and afford movement and create very intricate patterns that build up to a cohesive idea. You can see the artist’s work here.

Another item that I found interesting and not completely related was one piece of jewelry (found here) with great potential. Although the idea of wearable interfaces has been explored before, what I find interesting about this one is how useful it seems. It plays true to the desktop paradigm, so it would be familiar to many; also making it a product that would not intimidate those already comfortable with the average computer. The device is reasonably malleable for a bracelet and it’s keyboard and projector make it much more than an iPad or netbook currently is by making use of a users surroundings if the user desires.

The last thing that I found, not so much related to the suit but related to another project, was the “soundie.” The soundie  is a hoodie that plays a pitch when you hug it. The pitch increases or decreases in relation to the amount the person grabs their arms. The pitch is also presented in strips of LEDs running across the front and back of the hoodie. Though many iterations of this design and interaction style exist, I felt as if it was still a valid point of reference for our project.

The last thing I wanted to present from my recent exploration of the web was a unique furniture company that takes a different approach to the relationship between space and furniture. I feel that this is very similar to the problem Chameleon Suit presents, where there are certain everyday objects that could perform additional functions with a little design and know-how. What strikes me the most is the consideration of the user with every piece of furniture presented in tis video. Every item is meant to be light-weight so that user need not strain in order to transition the piece from one state to another. Another function that I find very key is that each state is partially maintained in all states. The desk that turns into a bed still works as a table while it is a bed; the shelf that gets bunked beds still has a shelf for the top bunk. All of the functional pieces remain at all times, again, avoiding unnecessary strain for the user.

I hope that our product will achieve the beauty and versatility of these items I have presented here and I plan on referring to them when in the group for inspiration and goal setting.

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