This work introduces layer jamming as an enabling technology for designing deformable, stiffness-tunable, thin sheet interfaces. It is part of a collaboration with Jifei Ou and Lining Yao at the Tangible Media Group at MIT Media Lab under the guidance of Prof. Hiroshi Ishii.

Jifei Ou, Lining Yao, Daniel Tauber, Jürgen Steimle, Ryuma Niiyama, and Hiroshi Ishii. 2014. jamSheets: thin interfaces with tuneable stiffness enabled by layer jamming.

Ou J., Yao L., Tauber D., Ishii H., Methods and apparatus for layer jamming, United States; Patent Application 14516039

TEI’14 Conference, Munich


Interfaces that exhibit tunable stiffness properties can yield dynamic haptic feedback and shape deformation capabilities. In comparison to the particle jamming, layer jamming allows for constructing thin and lightweight form factors of an interface. This work proposes five layer structure designs and an approach which composites multiple materials to control the deformability of the interfaces. It also presents methods to embed different types of sensing and pneumatic actuation layers on the layer-jamming unit. Through three application prototypes it demonstrates the benefits of using layer jamming in interface design. Finally, this work provides a survey of materials that have proven successful for layer jamming.