Infractor is an innovative way of research

by Mark R

500x_infractorThis next device is odd, to say the least, but I can see how it would come in handy. There is a video of it after the jump if you want to see it in action, but it won’t make sense without a little bit of explanation.

Here’s how it works. You begin with a “light source” that is really a database of some information, like the New York Times, for example. This source is placed on a table that is probably best described as a Microsoft Surface (but isn’t).

This source shines a light with visible particles that essentially contains all the information of on that database. From there, the user can physically place a “prism” that filters out all the information except a certain subject. That subject can be pre-determined by the user by a jog wheel.

I suppose this would be a non-Wikipedia way of doing research. For example, let’s say you had a light source of world history, and you used the prison to filter out everything but Egyptian history. From there, you could use another prism for Cleopatra, the pyramids, or whatever piece of information you need.

I’m not certain why you couldn’t do what the Infractor does on a computer with an ordinary search engine, but the Infractor website says the presence of a physical object helps.

Perhaps the idea for the Infractor came from a Surface-like computer seen in the movie The Island, which operated with a desk-sized flat display and paperweight-like objects.


infractor – interactive, collaborative multitouch application from siwamat on Vimeo.

One review or comment

Brett Says: November 6, 2009 at 7:58 pm

The movie The Island got the idea for the device from the TV show Stargate SG-1. The short, gray aliens had technology based on a flat, horizontal screen on which “paperweight-like objects” were moved to control their star ships.

Hell, the old ’70s classic, Land of the Lost, had a similar idea housed in The Pylon. What a great show that was!

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