Virtual Materials

Microsoft Competition

Finalist Microsoft Next-Gen PC Design Competition / 2006

Every real item consists of a certain kind of material and surface structure. The first attribute we lose in the event of digitization is haptics and material appearance. We will see a plenty of digitized surfaces on screens or on devices in the near future, but what kind of material quality we have to expect?

below: Pixel fabric vs. Kimono fabric

New quality

First of all we have to consider, that we need a projection surface to generate Virtual Materials (e.g. screens). The next step is a closer look to traditional materials like fabrics or textiles. In a context of digitization a thread is henceforth a pixel. Virtual Materials are not simple smoothed .jpg's.

below: mobile device design

I/O Fish - Mobile Data Hub with Media Casing

Design concept: a compact body with a plane front containing the main screen (touch screen) and a spherical back providing a comfortable use. The integrated screen on the spherical back (Media Casing) serves as a projection surface for additional information.

I/O Fish - Virtual Materials

The spherically moulded OLED-screen underneath the Perspex body determines the visual appearance of the product. Downloadable screen designs (Virtual Materials) create a new materiality. Textures, ornaments or digitized materials enable the user to define the look and style of its own I/O Fish and to adapt it to individual needs and desires.

I/O Fish - Functional Skin

The product surface shows certain kinds of information (Functional Skin) e.g. indication for available disk space and power.

I/O Fish - Functional Skin / Alert

The additional screen inside the body is a perfect surface for interaction. It is able to communicate with its surrounding area. With the help of certain visualizations the I/O Fish can even call for attention to incoming services (e-mail, telephone, alarm-clock, news bar).

I/O Fish - Functional Skin / MP3 Player

Microsoft Competition

Its Functional Skin is providing much more than simply information. Therefore the I/O Fish applied as MP3 player is the perfect projection surface for advertising, branding and additional sales promotion.