Few new technologies are eliciting as much excitement and unlimited potential as the field of augmented reality.  Facebook’s acquisition of virtual reality headset company Oculus Rift, and Google’s acquisition of various A.I. and virtual reality companies under their Google Deep Mind division, are just two indicators that our world is about to witness an enormous leap in how humans interact with technology.  Now comes word from New Scientist of a mindblowing new 3D haptic hologram technology which that enables you to feel and handle floating virtual objects with your bare hands, thereby allowing the human sense of touch to join the world of augmented reality.

Known as UltraHaptics™, the technology uses high-frequency sound waves emitted by tiny speakers to create the illusion of touching a three-dimensional object in space. The system knows exactly where the user’s hands are at each millisecond, which “means the system can direct ultrasound at the right time and frequency to produce the sensation of touching different parts of the object – the top, say, or the side. This creates the impression that you are exploring the surface of an object as you move your hands around in empty space.”  The developers have already been contacted by companies interested in developing the technology for commercial applications such as allowing doctors to feel inside a human body to touch a lump detected by a CT scan, or to allow museum visitors to touch priceless artifacts and antiquities sealed off behind glass.  The technology will continually increase its high-resolution capabilities as speakers become smaller and more powerful.  To enter the mothership be sure to visit UltraHaptics.com. The technology will be unveiled for the first time in public at the SIGGRAPH Asia conference on December 3.

UltraHaptics™ is just the latest in 3D tactile technology.  Almost exactly a year ago I told you about MIT Media Lab’s development of a different kind of touch-interactivity.  You can see some examples of it below, and read the full story here: The WOW Files: Video Of MIT’s Insane Shapeshifting Technology Will Freak You Out.  (Image courtesy of Factor Tech).


Sources: Fast Company via Towleroad


Writer, editor, and founder of FEELguide. I have written over 5,000 articles covering many topics including: travel, design, movies, music, politics, psychology, neuroscience, business, religion and spirituality, philosophy, pop culture, the universe, and so much more. I also work as an illustrator and set designer in the movie industry, and you can see all of my drawings at http://www.unifiedfeel.com.

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