Imagine sliding your hand… across a bed of scorpions. Then stop doing that, relax your neck tendons and imagine sliding your hand across the smooth transition of a touch interface that flows from vertical to horizontal. Ahhhhhhh. It’s like buttery rays of light coating your fingertips. Really, take a look.

The Media Computing Group, researching graphical user interfaces (GUI’s) out of Aachen, Germany, is LITERALLY stretching the possibilities across your workspace with the Bend Desk. It’s a concept, but with the work they’ve already done on the UI, you can bet it’s going to draw some interest for 3D modeling and graphic creators. I’m sold. How bad do you want one?

This workspace can be used to display any digital content like documents, photos, or videos. Multi-touch technology allows the user to interact with the entire surface using direct manipulation and multi-touch gestures.

What about 3D? Yeah, the researchers always leave that bit out. As you’ll see in the video, the massive edifice of a desk contains two projectors and three cameras with IR-LED’s along the edges. What I love about the demo is the transition from vertical to horizontal. It’s just… dang, it’s cool and I love thinking about the applications and seeing how they use it. That simple radius provides a whole slew of usability options.

Unfortunately, the imagination of touch screen development is limited to flipping photos about and not to 3D geometry development, and rightly so. It’s still on a flat 2D screen. However, this mix of vertical and horizontal gets a step closer to the off-screen augmented/holographic possibilities that could be mixed in. Make the whole set-up a little thinner, a little sleeker and these would take over cubicles, not to mention put a stopper on the LCD panel market.

If you would like to see the details and the math on it check out the publications on the Bend Desk website.

via DesignBoom. Images via DesignBoom.


Josh is founder and editor at, founder at Aimsift Inc., and co-founder of EvD Media. He is involved in engineering, design, visualization, the technology making it happen, and the content developed around it. He is a SolidWorks Certified Professional and excels at falling awkwardly.