Alan Chamberlain, one of our PU&P Augmented Reading participants, posted a link to the bookleteer Facebook page about a programmable surface that has been created by researchers at MIT and Harvard. The composite material which looks pretty much like a piece of paper can fold itself into a number of predetermined shapes (in this case a boat, a plane and a tent) when an electric current is passed through it. The ‘paper’ contains a number of foil actuators to make it fold and tiny electromagnets to ensure it stays folded.
Researchers believe that one application might be to create containers that can change their size to adjust to the amount of liquid being poured into to them. Another might be to make StoryCubes that can expand and shrink depending on how much is written on them or how many people are collaborating. But they probably haven’t thought of that specific use yet..
Read more about it on wired.com where you can also see a video of it in folding action.. (Thanks Alan!)