I co-authored the paper, "Materiable: Rendering Dynamic Material Properties in Response to Direct Physical Touch with Shape Changing Interfaces" (2016) with Ken Nakagaki, Luke Vink, and others. For this paper, we studied the emergent interaction that arises when real time and interactive physics is simulated on the TRANSFORM and the inFORM.
I implemented two different simulations. The first uses the shallow water equations to emulate liquid. When a user presses on a part of the table, it reacts similarly to a bed of water.
The second emulates springy, deformable materials. It simply uses Hooke's law for each pin independently of each other as the governing force, but then values are averaged across each other in between timesteps. This model can simulate foam or trampoline-like surfaces.
We performed a user study as well in order to further understand the potential this might have for the computer human interaction industry. There were interesting results in how users perceived the material emulation.