Advisory Board

Jeevan J. Kalanithi, M.S.

The Boston Globe article Rethinking display technology: Start-ups are pushing the boundaries of what a screen can be and do said

The inventor of the Web, Tim Berners-Lee, minted an intriguing term recently: “pixel wallpaper”. The idea is that any object, any surface, can potentially be a canvas for displaying information.
David Merrill and Jeevan Kalanithi created one of the coolest demos the Media Lab has seen in years: A set of small, square wireless devices they dubbed “Siftables.” Each one is about the size of a stack of four Saltine crackers, with a color screen on top.
Merrill calls them “physical interfaces for manipulating digital content,” meaning Siftables are designed to be moved and handled. They can communicate wirelessly with each other and a PC.
Imagine sending a series of photographs or video clips from a PC to a group of a dozen Siftables, and then rearranging them on a table to change the sequencing of a slide show or movie. Or, since the Siftables know how they’re oriented in space thanks to an internal accelerometer, one might display the front of a mechanical drawing when held in one position, and the side or back of the drawing when tilted in the right direction.

Jeevan J. Kalanithi, M.S. is Founder of Taco Lab, LLC. Taco Lab is a design and engineering firm building new interfaces and devices that blur the physical and digital. Clients include HandsOnToys, Hallmark Cards, and Panasonic.
Jeevan is a designer and technologist specializing in tangible interfaces and physical computing. He likes making little objects that can talk to each other and that make people happy.
He has expertise in iterative and collaborative design development, focusing on the written word and visual sketches. His engineering expertise lies in electronic hardware design, sensing technologies, artificial intelligence and machine learning, internet and networking architectures, and visual software.
Jeevan and his collaborators’ works have been shown at venues such as Villette Numerique, EYEBEAM, the Oslo Philharmonic, and the Miami Art Museum. Jeevan has received awards including honors from the ID Magazine Student Design Review and a National Science Foundation Graduate Fellowship. His work has been featured in publications such as Gizmodo, Engadget, Media Magazine, and The Boston Globe.
He coauthored Siftables: Towards Sensor Network User Interfaces, Connectibles: Tangible Social Networks, and Starfish: 1(+) Bit Communication and Signaling in Groups. He has patent application Sensor-based distributed tangible user interface.
Jeevan earned his M.S. from The Media Lab at MIT with the thesis Connectibles: Tangible Social Networking and earned his B.S. in Symbolic Systems from Stanford.
Read MIT’s Siftables let you juggle your data… for real. Watch the TEDTalk David Merrill demos Siftables and watch Siftables Music Sequencer.