Researchers at the University of Glasgow have developed a touch hologram system based on aerophic technology: air jets integrated into the system make it possible to reproduce the sensitivity of touch in a highly convincing way. The team hopes to use this technology to one day create video games for an unprecedented in-depth experience or a more effective remote medicine.
Holograms are used today in many different fields: entertainment, education, the arts, medicine, safety, and defense. But this time, Professor Ravinder Dahiya and his team have gone further in utilizing this technology, offering holograms that can interact with it. ” Over time, this can be expanded to allow you to see the virtual avatars of a colleague from around the world and really experience their handshake. , He explained In a presentation article.
Like the offered ultrasound based sensory holograms Formerly a researcher at the University of Sussex, This aerophytic system does not require a hand-held controller or smart glove to produce tactile sensation. A single nozzle capable of responding to hand movements blows air with the appropriate force to mimic the sensation of touch.
A technique based on nineteenth-century optical illusions
Called Aerohaptics, this incredible technology is reminiscent of the HoloDek of the Star Trek universe, creating an interactive virtual atmosphere around the characters. The technology developed by Dahiya and his collaborators does not provide anything on such a large scale. However, their interactive projection of a basketball is, in their opinion, particularly compelling. The volumetric display technology combines with precisely controlled air jets to create a tactile sensation that touches the user’s hands, fingers and wrists.
⁇ The tactile feedback of the system’s air jets is modulated based on the virtual surface of the basketball, allowing users to feel the roundness of the ball rolling at their fingertips as they jump and receive it in the palm of their hand. », The researcher explains. The system relies on a pseudo-holographic display, which looks like a two-dimensional image orbiting in space with glass and mirrors – presented by researchers as a modern variation of a 19th-century optical technique known as the “Peppers Ghost”. .
The mirrors that make up the system are arranged in a pyramid, with one side open; Users move their hands into the opening and interact with computer-generated objects that seem to float in the air. These objects are graphics created and controlled by the software Unity game engine (Often used to create 3D objects and worlds in video games).
The device connects a leap motion sensor – which is responsible for tracking hand movements – to the moving air nozzle, which directs airflow to the exact places where it should be in contact with the hands and fingers. Virtual object and required force (depending on the estimated intensity of contact). Users can “push” the virtual ball with different force and experience a change in the bounce experience of their hand. The following video was published by the research team Bendable Electronics and Sensing Technologies From the University of Glasgow, illustrating the possibilities of the device:
See, touch and experience virtual objects
Although haptic feedback and volumetric display technology have advanced greatly in recent years, researchers point out that most current haptic techniques require the use of portable devices (headsets, gloves, etc.); However, as they increase the cost, these ancillary devices can represent a break in the deployment of this technology. The device suggested here enables the delivery of any additional equipment, thus providing a convincing sensation of physical intervention at low cost.
But we are still far from the Holocaust! According to the researchers, the touching hologram of basketball already requires a large and complex modeling job. Many improvements are yet to come: the team is definitely planning to add additional functions such as air temperature control to deepen the feeling of interaction with hot objects or colds. They also explore the possibility of adding fragrances to the air, giving more and more illusions and allowing users to smell and touch virtual objects.
This technology, which is widely deployed, can be the basis of many applications. Not only to revolutionize the world of games and entertainment, but also to offer a greater user experience than life, and in many other industries, by offering advanced teleconferencing. It could be a fixed asset in medicine, supporting surgeons to teach their students delicate procedures in virtual spaces, or allowing them to command robots to perform real operations. ” We want to explore the possibilities as we continue to develop the system. , Researchers terminate.
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