Imagine studying wave patterns without ever getting wet. That’s just one of the many applications of Materiable, a new interface designed to mimic the properties of other materials with responsive blocks.

You’ve seen shape-changing interfaces before, but what’s cool about this new project from MIT is that its programming goes a step past responsive design. Your interactions with the surface changes based on what you’ve programmed it to replicate: water, rubber, a mattress–take a look at everything that’s going on:

[H/T Wired]