Sound sculpting creates holograms you can feel

Shane McGlaun - Dec 2, 2014, 6:40 am CST
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Sound sculpting creates holograms you can feel

Holograms aren’t exactly new technology; they have been around in various forms for decades. One thing that has held true for all of these holograms is the fact that you can only see them and if you try to touch them, you feel noting but the void. A new technology promises to create holograms that you can touch and feel using a technique called sound sculpting.

The tech uses sound waves to make “haptic holograms” that allow you to touch 3D virtual objects using your hands. Developers of the tech say that it could allow doctors to touch a lump detected by a CT scan. It could also allow visitors to museums to touch virtual representations of priceless artifacts that could never be handled otherwise.

The tech is being develops by a scientists called Ben Long and his colleagues at the University of Bristol in the UK. The tech has grown from a previous version the team developed called UltraHaptics. The new tech uses high-frequency sound waves emitted by an array of small speakers. Those sound waves create the sensation of touching a virtual object. The sound waves from the speakers exert pressure on the skin when they hit the hand.

The researchers use Leap Motion sensors to track the position of the user’s hands to allow the sound waves to be directed at the right time and frequency to allow feeling of different sides of a virtual object. The final product is the ability to feel the top, bottom, and sides of an object.

SOURCE: New Scientist


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