Deformable interfaces represent are very promising research area for HCI. Several prototypes have been implemented: they range from musical interfaces to flexible smartphones, to shape-changing displays, and wearables. The field is still characterized by a high level of experimentation, the examples are very sparse, and there is a lack of properly structured studies.

In particular, deformable input represents a still novel, direct, and physical way to interact with computers and digital contents.

Deformable input can be used in three main ways:

  • Augmenting rigid interfaces

  • Replacing rigid input

  • Create novel types of interfaces, where the input follows the form of the material

The first two uses have been explored by several researchers and designer. With the advent of consumer flexible smartphones, the second function especially seems to be the most successful.

Augmenting and replacing rigid input with a deformable one have the advantage to make use of already established paradigms of interaction, such as direct manipulation and multitouch.

However, is the last function that has still to show its real potentials.

We believe that a better understanding of deformable input and progress in the research on deformable interfaces will lead to a new paradigm in HCI, that we define as Non-Rigid HCI.


Through this website, we provide an extensive list of deformable interfaces, in regards to their applications, technologies, and basic design elements.

All the credits (related to texts, images, and videos) belong to the respective authors. We have included links to materials (videos, papers) and websites related to each work. The purpose of such a website is purely archival.

Such a database is growing and is intended to be a reference for practitioners, designers, and researchers interested in developing Non-Rigid Interactions.


If you wish to contribute or you want us to include your project/research, please contact us at deformableui[at]gmail.com or through the contact form.


This website is maintained by Alberto Boem and Giovanni Maria Troiano, authors of “Non-Rigid HCI: A Review of Deformable Interfaces and Input” (2019).