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Feeling the Music

Well, not quite.

But researchers at the University of Tokyo have invented a device which allows you to feel virtual objects by creating a solid wave of ultrasound (yes, the same ultrasound they use in sonograms) which adjusts to the movements of your hand. Currently, this seems to create a tactile field in 3D space that can be felt and interacted with, but, from what I saw it doesn't create 3D objects just yet.

This offers very interesting possibilities for all kinds of computer-based applications. including games, 3D modeling and interactions with the web. Imagine being able to actually, haptically interact with that spaceship you're building in Maya, or feel the design object you're about to buy online. The more dirty-minded amongst us will also see the possibility for a more satisfying pornographic interaction with the web.
It would be interesting to see if they are able to simulate various textures as well, as it would be a great boon to online shops selling, for instance, clothes.
Another interesting possibility is the fabled holographic keyboard of old, allowing you to type and interact with you computer without actually having any devices attached, as the device senses the location of your hand, and supposedly, fingers, thus making it possible to type on thin air.
The title will take to the unis website, where a demo of the Airborne Ultrasound Tactile Display (they may need a new name for it) can also be seen.

Come to think of it, it might also redefine the term "Wall of Sound".


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