I’m sure all of us have watched something jump off the screen of a 3D movie and wanted to grab at it as it floated before our 3D-bespectacled eyes. Now wouldn’t it be cool if you really could interact with that floating object? Leave it to Japanese mobile operator DoCoMo to inch us forward in this direction. Always sure to bring something that’s just outside the box every year at MWC, DoCoMo is showing off something they call Touchable 3D which will make users feel as if they are actually touching a 3D image.
DoCoMo combines a glassless 3D display with force sensors and a pen with some magnets placed inside. The pen is tracked by two cameras and depending on the position of the pen, it will send a signal through the screen to the magnet at the tip of the pen. The pen will shake or even jump out of your hand depending on the program. DoCoMo’s presentation had a cartoon chameleon that tried to grab the pen with its tongue. If it succeeds you feel a vibration strong enough to shoot the pen out of your hand.
The technology is still pretty young so no information was given as to when you would see it in actual products. There was a warning from the company about how close you should get if you had magnetic-recorded cards. That’s definitely one of the issues DoCoMo needs to figure out along its path towards rolling out 3D interactivity to consumers.