Play with data

Kinetica is an app for exploring data on your iPad. Instead of forcing you to use a boring old spreadsheet, Kinetica lets you see, touch, sift, and play with your data in a physical environment.

Visualizing complex data

Kinetica brings a table of data into the physical world. Each row of data becomes a circle that responds to your touches and interactions. Want a chart? Pick two columns from your table and then magnetically graph them. Want to filter some data? Grab a sifter and drag it across your data, picking up the points you don't want as you go.

Image of Kinetica visualizing models of automobiles

Figure 1: Here a user is trying to understand how models of cars (the circles) differ based on manufacturing country (color) and horsepower (x-axis). As she has a budget, she dragged all models over $40,000 to the top of the chart using a filter. Because the circles still feel a pull to their place on the chart, it's easy to see that many of the expensive models had high horsepower.

Kinetica started out as a research project studying how we can help people understand information using tablet computers. In developing and testing it, we've had users exploring models of cars trying to find the vehicle for them, understanding deep trends in data about the Titanic shipwreck, and exploring census data to learn about the neighborhoods of Pittsburgh.

Image of Kinetica visualizing models of automobiles

Figure 2: A user has charted the age (y-axis and color) and cabin class (x-axis) of passengers on the Titanic. Passengers that survived the shipwreck are circled with dark lines. Note how many first class passengers survived, even an 80 year old.


  • Magnet charts that pull data to their proper places.
  • Interactive sifters that tangibly filter points.
  • Lenses that expose hidden trends in the data.
  • Tools for grouping, coloring, and sizing points.
  • Mix and match techniques to investigate more than 5 dimensions on one iPad screen.
  • Save and share discoveries with friends. Export findings to other tools.
  • Load any Excel XLS, CSV, and TSV table of data

System Requirements

Kinetica requires an Apple iPad with at least iOS version 6. For tables larger than 200 rows, a new iPad 4 is recommended for optimal performance.

Here is an example spreadsheet you could load into Kinetica. Notice how the first column always contains names for points. Kinetica will figure out to do with the rest of the table.

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