TED 2013: Four TED Fellow videos that will blow your mind


Back in 2007, TED added a new program called TED Fellows. The program funds the work of a wide range of young innovators doing cutting-edge work in their field. The current crop has 21 fellows, who have been presenting their work in a series of talks Monday and Tuesday.

PHOTOS: Tech we want to see in 2013

Those talks haven’t been posted yet. But several fellows showed videos during their talks that demonstrated examples of their projects.


Here are four incredible videos from three fellows:

Self-building machines

Skylar Tibbits is architect and computer scientist at MIT’s Self-Assembly Lab. He focuses on “smart” technologies that build themselves. His big announcement at TED inolved the world’s first-ever 4-D printer: A machine that that “promises to transform construction and manufacturing by enabling raw materials to self-transform into final structures without any human intervention.”

Here are two examples:

4D Printing: Cube Self-Folding Strand from Skylar Tibbits on Vimeo.


4D Printing: MIT Self-Folding Strand from Skylar Tibbits on Vimeo.

Gesture-controlled, 3-D computer

Jinha Lee is an inventor and interaction researcher at Here’s the description of his project from TED: “What if your hands could reach ‘inside’ your computer screen, and manipulate projected, digital objects from documents to sculptures to watches? An alumnus of the MIT Media Lab, Jinha will be debuting an early version of a gesture-controlled, see-through 3D computer he developed while at Microsoft, an augmented online fitting room and levitating UIs at TED. (Think Minority Report meets Google Glass.)”

Here’s a demo:

SpaceTop, CHI 2013 from Jinha Lee on Vimeo.

An Invisibility Cloak

Baile Zhang is an electrical engineer at Nanyang Technological University. Here’s his description from TED: “Baile’s macroscopic invisibility cloak, the world’s first, can bend light around the covered object, rendering it invisible to human eyes. Making use of calcite crystals, his cloak in particular suppresses shadows -- the Achilles Heel of current stealth technologies (eg, the Lockheed F-117 Nighthawk famously cast a shadow). At TED, Baile will unveil the invisibility cloak and explain the physics behind it -- and its real-world applications.”


TED 2013: A look at TED by the numbers

Silicon Valley launches campaign to get kids to code

TED conference is speaking to the masses — and drawing criticism

Follow me on Twitter @obrien.