Have you ever wanted to reach into your computer screen, grab that annoying little Clippy paperclip and scrunch him all out of shape? Well, Japanese company NTT might be on their way to realising that dream for you, although perhaps you should calm down a bit; he’s only there to help, you know. They’re developing a tangible-3D virtual reality system where users can physically feel three-dimensional video thanks to an actuator glove.
Built on the original NTT 3D display first shown back in 2005, which has a “sweet spot” at which point footage filmed using a stereoscopic pair of cameras appears to have depth, the system passes visual information to the glove’s controller, which translates that into realistic textures and feelings.
At present it’s a one-way setup – that is, only data from the computer is acted on by the glove, there’s no feedback, but NTT are apparently working on a follow-up system that will allow tactile impressions to be experienced by multiple team members. Expect to see final production versions appearing in museums, classrooms and industrial environments.