Devices with feeling: shapes in mid-air

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A UK startup has developed tactile technology that allows users to “feel in mid air”, which it hopes will have profound implications on the emerging field of virtual reality (VR).

Bristol-based Ultrahaptics intends to overcome one of the biggest obstacles to creating a truly immersive experience by integrating the sensation of touch to the technology.

“We’ll never create this complete immersion without this physical feedback,” Tom Carter, co-founder of Ultrahaptics, told IBTimes UK. “If you don’t have the sense of touch it will really break down the VR experience. This is what we’re trying to solve.”

Ultrahaptics was at the SouthWest VR conference in Bristol today (24 February) to showcase the technology, which uses a small array of ultrasound speakers to create “haptic holograms”.

The haptic feedback created is both invisible and soundless and is capable of replicating textures, such as brick and metal.

Theoretically, any texture can be recreated using ultrasound vibrations so long as the texture can be mapped, even something as complex as flowing water.


FiveWordsForTheFuture - Dec 14, 2015 | Interfaces, Multimedia, Skin, Virtual Reality, Virtual Worlds
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