Tangible Interactive Matrix for Real-time Computation and 3D Projection Mapping
The Tactile Matrix, or Tangible Interactive Matrix (TIM), is an open source system for a machine-readable matrix of objects that performs real-time computation and dynamic projection-mapping. Illuminated, tangible-interactive matrices have immediate applications as collaborative computation tools for users who want to leverage matrix-based mathematical modeling techniques within a friendly and accessible environment. The system is designed as an open source kit of both off-the-shelf items (such as Lego) and components that are inexpensively fabricated with standard equipment (such as laser cutters).
The Tactile Matrix is designed to (a) make matrix-based mathematical methods more accessible and intuitive to users who otherwise do not have access to such tools and/or (b) provide an interactive narrative and story-telling device for experts who wish to present or explain matrix-based concepts to non-experts.
The Tactile Matrix is applied to many research projects to make complex systems intuitive and approachable for a broad range of stakeholders. It was first and foremost developed for MIT CityScope, but the platform is also being adopted for domains outside of urban planning.
Case Study Implementations
- Town Planning in Flinders New Town, Queensland, Australia 2014
- Reconfigurable Cityscape, MIT Media Lab, Cambridge, MA 2014
- Form-based Land Use Planning, Edinburgh Culture Summit, Scotland 2014
- City Planning for Daylight, Energy, and Walkability in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia 2015
- Land Use and Transportation (LUT) Modeling, Toronto, Canada 2015
- Bus Rapid Transit Planning and Community Engagement in Boston, MA, USA 2015
- Kendall Square Algorithmic Zoning "Playground", Cambridge, MA, USA 2015
- Hafencity University Planning Workshop, Hamburg, Germany 2015
- CityFusion, Beijing, China 2015
- Andorra Living Lab, Andorra La Vella 2015
- Distribution and Logistics Planning, MIT CTL, San Jose, CA and Denver, CO 2016
- Singapore Pedestrian Accessibility, World Cities Summit, Singapore 2016
- "Finding Places" Refugee Planning, Hamburg, Germany 2016
- "CityMatrix" Model, MIT Media Lab, Cambridge, MA 2016
- Geobits, MIT Media Lab, Cambridge, MA 2016
- CityScience Lab Aalto, Aalto University, Espoo, Finland 2017
- CityScience Lab Shanghai, Tongi University, Shanghai, China 2017
- Philips Lighting Research, Cambridge, MA 2017
- PharmaScope, GSK, Stevenage, UK 2018
- Places Initiative, GSK, Upper Providence, PA 2018
The Tactile Matrix was invented during a cold, Boston winter in January, 2014 by Ira Winder, Joshua Fabian, and Grady Sain while working for Changing Places Group in MIT Media Lab. The creators are heavily inspired by the work of Tangible Media Group at MIT Media Lab. The system has inspired input, experimentation, and hacking by numerous collaborators at MIT and beyond. Karthik Patanjali in 2015 oversaw the design, development, and manufacturing process of a standardized table module for the Tactile Matrix that is now used for most deployments.