The University of South Australia brings us quite a nifty gadget / design tool as part of their Wearable Computer Laboratory. In a paper and accompanying video published by Ewald T. A. Maas, Michael R. Marner, Ross T. Smith, and Bruce H. Thomas, they introduce "Quimo", a free form spatial Augmented Reality interface. Short for "quick mock-up", the substance is a white malleable material that the user can sculpt and reform to their heart's content, all with their bare hands. It retains its shape once you sculpt it and doesn't harden later, so you can always go back and sculpt different things. It's like Play-Doh for Augmented Reality.
In the paper they write,
Our goal has been to explore how the concept phase of the modeling methodology can be enriched using (Spatial Augmented Reality) SAR technologies to allow designers to visualize their concepts with higher detail and provide a more ﬂexible modeling environment.
In simple terms, they designed some clay that you can project textures and colors on using SAR tech. Quimo is a combination of two sheets of EcoFlex 30 sandwiching a sheet of meshwire. In the video, they compare a Quimo model to a model constructed using traditional methods. The difference is clear.
Quimo looks like a great compound, and I'm sure that modeling and design firms will see great use from it.
Check it out: