Weight-Shifting Mobiles

This phone augments digital content with physical mass, by shifting its own center of gravity.

This mobile phone prototype employs an automatically movable weight on its inside. It explores the utility of moving weight as a tactile display in mobile phones.

Through a moving center of gravity, a mobile device can display content physically enriched: Through the positioning of mass. For example, drag and drop operations can be physically supported through a synchronized movement of the device's center of gravity, following the dragged object.

Non-visual information displays can be helpful in certain situations, but they are often limited in their bandwidth and the way they map digital information to physical properties. A two-dimensional weight-based display can represent two layers of hierarchy, ambiently: For instance, a meta-layer of making progress through a playlist can be displayed in parallel with a display of a the playhead's position on the layer of individual songs.

An actuated center of weight in a mobile device may be particularly helpful in mobile navigation: It could display walking directions intuitively and non-visually, allowing users to navigate safely while not looking at the device, but simply holding it in one hand.

Fabian Hemmert
Hello, my name is Fabian Hemmert. I am a design researcher. My research is concerned with our body's role in our interactions with technology. I am a professor for interface and user experience design at the University of Wuppertal. Previously, I have been a postdoctoral researcher at the Design Research Lab at the Berlin University of the Arts, in collaboration with Telekom Innovation Labs. Before that, I worked for Nintendo and Marvel Comics. Currently, I investigate embodied interaction with the digital world. Anybuddy The Console Game DataWars Design Research Design Research Diarings Diarings Diarings Escape Team Escape Team Exabyte Fabian Hemmert GenoGraph Hemmert Inkbot Interface Lab Konsolenquartett LiveStories Meine Freunde Meine Freunde Meine Freunde PlayQuest PlayQuest PowerSlides Simple Present Simple Present