Slurp: MIT's Eyedropper Interface for Manipulating Digital Data
Maria Popova is a reader and a writer, and writes about what she reads on Brain Pickings (brainpickings.org), which is included in the Library of Congress archive of culturally valuable materials. She has also written for The New York Times, Wired UK, and The Atlantic, among others, and is an MIT Fellow. She is on Twitter @brainpicker.
What if you could manipulate abstract, digital information like it were a tangible, physical thing? A new development out of MIT Media Lab promises to do just that. Slurp is an eyedropper-shaped interface that manipulates digital information as if it were water, extracting and injecting data in and out of digital objects by "slurping" and "squirting."
Developed by Jamie Zigelbaum, Adam Kumpf, Alejandro Vazquez, and Hiroshi Ishii in MIT's Tangible Media Group, Slurp explores new physical manipulation techniques that challenge the spatial relationships between the analog world and digital computing environments.
As we move closer to the "Internet of Things" pipe dream, Slurp holds promise as an innovative cross-pollinator for our various environments, making digital data a little more human and fluid.
But it doesn't end there. Slurp can also be used to access information stored in the digital tags of any object:
At a time when we're barely able to sync all of our digital devices, it's interesting to consider a future where all of our environments, be they virtual or physical, are in constant, seamless communication with one another.
Maria Popova is the editor of Brain Pickings, a curated inventory of miscellaneous interestingness. She writes for Wired UK, GOOD Magazine and Huffington Post, and spends a shameful amount of time on Twitter.
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