Slurp: MIT's Eyedropper Interface for Manipulating Digital Data

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.

via Engadget

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.

China’s artificial sun reaches fusion temperature: 100 million degrees

In a breakthrough for nuclear fusion research, scientists at China's Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak (EAST) reactor have produced temperatures necessary for nuclear fusion on Earth.

Credit: EAST Team
Surprising Science
  • The EAST reactor was able to heat hydrogen to temperatures exceeding 100 million degrees Celsius.
  • Nuclear fusion could someday provide the planet with a virtually limitless supply of clean energy.
  • Still, scientists have many other obstacles to pass before fusion technology becomes a viable energy source.
Keep reading Show less

A dark matter hurricane is crashing into Earth

Giving our solar system a "slap in the face."

Surprising Science
  • A stream of galactic debris is hurtling at us, pulling dark matter along with it
  • It's traveling so quickly it's been described as a hurricane of dark matter
  • Scientists are excited to set their particle detectors at the onslffaught
Keep reading Show less

Here's how diverse the 116th Congress is set to become

The 116th Congress is set to break records in term of diversity among its lawmakers, though those changes are coming almost entirely from Democrats.

(Photo: MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
Politics & Current Affairs
  • Women and nonwhite candidates made record gains in the 2018 midterms.
  • In total, almost half of the newly elected Congressional representatives are not white men.
  • Those changes come almost entirely from Democrats; Republican members-elect are all white men except for one woman.
Keep reading Show less