Swipe left for a blanket: Digital Hand uses Microsoft’s Kinect to design furniture

As any designer will tell you, designing aesthetically pleasing furniture takes clear vision, a steady hand, and a healthy dose of creativity. But what if instead of using a pen and paper to model tables and chairs, you could craft three-dimensional products with a simple wave of your hand? This is exactly what industrial designer Nate Asis‘s motion-sensing Digital Hand sets out to accomplish, utilizing Microsoft’s innovative Kinect sensor to design various goods found around the home. After an object is crafted, Digital Hand then makes use of a 3D printer to bring the design to life.

Based out of Toronto, Ontario, Asis felt inclined to create the Digital Hand to explore what it might look like if generative design was a more prevalent practice. Furthermore, in addition to creating a mechanism that could harness life’s evolutionary design approach, he also wanted to make it so CNC machines and 3D printers were solely responsible for a project’s craftsmanship. Born from this idea was Digital Hand, a motion-capable device that allows people the opportunity to literally draw a table of their choice and then instantly have it manufactured.

“Possibly the biggest advantage to CAD software and digital manufacturing is the ability to create perfectly defined objects. It’s really great in the way that things are exactly as rendered and what you see is what you get,” Asis told Fast Co. Design. “But it’s almost at the expense of the human connection. The Digital Hand is a bridge between the physical world and the digital world. Creating objects that aren’t defined by perfect numbers or round dimensions but by the feeling of human intuition and spontaneity.

Currently, Asis’s Digital Hand boasts the capability of designing three separate objects with pre-defined parameters: the Skeleton Table, Wave Dish, and Dot blanket. For the Skeleton, users would first create the table’s top by stretching and bending a trapezoidal box with their hands, feet, and head using the Kinect. Its legs are then created using the relative positioning of the user’s hips, elbows, knees, shoulders, and neck.

For the oddly-shaped Wave Dish, Digital Hand tracks a user’s finger movements via Kinect, drawing black circles where fingers are detected. While printing, those black circles are then turned into wave-like ripples, giving the dish a uniquely topographical aesthetic. Finally, the Dot blanket utilizes the Kinect by sensing how close a user is standing to the camera before rendering their body shape into pixels, which then create the design of the blanket itself.

The ambitious project was developed and completed while Asis was an undergraduate student at the Ontario College of Art and Design. Unfortunately, Asis’s innovative new design scheme isn’t yet available for public use, though he does plan on selling some of his own designs via his website.


Rekindled yet again, Nokia’s next-gen phones offer more than just nostalgia

HMD Global, a startup that designs and builds Nokia Android smartphones, wants to put the Nokia brand name back “where it belongs.” It helps that it’s made up of ex-Nokia employees. We go behind the scenes to see how HMD formed.

Infiniti previews its leap into one of the hottest industry segments

Infiniti will unveil the QX Inspiration concept at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show. The design study is an electric crossover shaped by Infiniti's newest design language that may point to a future production model.

OnePlus 7 to use latest body design to get rid of the notch, leak suggests

The OnePlus 6T may still be new, but we're already looking ahead to the upcoming OnePlus 7. It will use the Snapdragon 855, and may have a new slider body design. Here's everything we know about the OnePlus 7.

The best CES 2019 health gadgets combat stress, pain, and more

We can all use some help with our health and CES 2019 was packed with intriguing devices designed to combat pain and stress, help you monitor blood pressure, reduce tinnitus, and care for the sick or elderly.
Smart Home

Booth babes, banned sex toys, and other mishaps at CES 2019

From female sex toys bans, to fake Tesla/robot collision stories, there was some weird stuff going on at CES 2019 this year. Here are some of the biggest mishaps and flubs at the world's biggest tech show.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: heat-powered watches, phone cases with reflexes

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Smart Home

LaMetric teased Sky, an upcoming app-controlled mosaic light panel, at CES 2019

Smart home startup LaMetric put a light in the eyes of guests at this year's CES 2019 with a prototype of a coming product called LaMetric Sky which uses multi-colored LED panels to form app-controlled artwork.
Smart Home

Military-grade baby monitor called Miku was a hit with parents at CES 2019

Who knew the world needed a smarter baby monitor? Apparently it's the startup Miku, which brought a new high-tech baby monitor to CES 2019 that uses A.I., machine learning, and high quality cameras to keep an eye on kids.
Smart Home

PicoBrew launches professional-grade brewing appliances, new distiller at CES

PicoBrew has been a leader in the home brewing industry for years, but at CES 2019 the company went pro with the Z Series, a new line of professional-grade brewing appliances aimed at craft breweries and restaurants.
Smart Home

IKEA’s new blinds for the smart home arrive April 1 in the U.S.

The Swedish furniture giant IKEA is adding a new product called FYRTUR, which turns out to be a new set of blackout blinds for the smart home that can be controlled by remote or programmed through the company's app.
Smart Home

Haier’s shoe washer cleans sneakers without all the clanging and banging

At CES 2019, Haier brought a bunch of shoe-centric appliances, including its sneaker washer. The appliance douses shoes with water and detergent and scrubs them, and then you can put them in the accompanying dryer.
Smart Home

Put away that sponge and let us help you pick the best dishwasher for your buck

Tired of doing dishes by hand? Take a look at our picks of the four best dishwashers currently available and let a machine do the dirty work for you. They’ll do a much better job, anyway.
Smart Home

A.I.’s humorous side: Here are the funniest things to ask Alexa

Amazon's Alexa voice assistant has a wide repertoire of funny responses, jokes, and hidden replies that you can have fun with. Here are the best funny things to ask Alexa and examples of what her responses are.