Pattie Maes’ Fluid Interfaces lab at MIT’s Media Lab for Belgium’s De Tijd

For Belgium's De Tijd and L'Echo, I spent a few hours in Pattie Maes' Fluid Interfaces Lab at MIT's Media Lab.

Like any shoot, there were plenty of challenges to overcome: Most of the technology being worked on was small or, in the case of the work on plants, impossible to visualize. The writer needed to conduct interviews throughout the time we were there. And there were two separate film crews working in the tiny lab space for the duration of the shoot, so either my equipment or theirs was always in the way.

Nevertheless, I'm always up for a challenge and it was nice to have full run of a lab for a few hours with experiments and prototypes that exist outside of a computational model. Because the interviews were being conducted while I was there, it was also a great opportunity to learn about some cutting-edge science. There were plants that can detect impurities or poisons in soil and water. There was a self-tuning guitar. There was a VR system that changes the experience based on physiological changes (body temperature, sweat, etc.) in the user. There was a device that gives typists or piano players an additional finger.

Thanks to Tim at De Tijd such a great assignment!

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