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Ultrasound Used To Create Haptics That Can Be Touched and Felt 41

mrspoonsi writes "Bristol University used ultrasound focused to create 3d objects out of the thin air. The research, led by Dr Ben Long and colleagues Professor Sriram Subramanian, Sue Ann Seah and Tom Carter from the University of Bristol's Department of Computer Science, could change the way 3D shapes are used. The new technology could enable surgeons to explore a CT scan by enabling them to feel a disease, such as a tumor, using haptic feedback. The method uses ultrasound, which is focused onto hands above the device and that can be felt. By focussing complex patterns of ultrasound, the air disturbances can be seen as floating 3D shapes. Visually, the researchers have demonstrated the ultrasound patterns by directing the device at a thin layer of oil so that the depressions in the surface can be seen as spots when lit by a lamp. "In the future, people could feel holograms of objects that would not otherwise be touchable, such as feeling the differences between materials in a CT scan or understanding the shapes of artifacts in a museum."
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Ultrasound Used To Create Haptics That Can Be Touched and Felt

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  • Sexting... (Score:5, Funny)

    by Matheus ( 586080 ) on Thursday December 04, 2014 @06:54PM (#48527063) Homepage

    Just got a whole lot better!

    • It stimulates the skin so you get a sense of feeling when your hand is at the right spot, but there would be no force feedback. You can't have a physically interactive holo girlfriend yet, though you could project one that does everything but touch.
    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 ) *

      I laughed at the scene in Demolition Man where Stalone has sex with Sandra Bullock via some kind of VR environment, but now it's starting to look more and more likely to actually become popular. No risk, no need to even be in the same room, and your virtual self can have a much better body than the real you. Lag is going to be interesting.

  • the method uses ultrasound

    Every time you touch it all the dogs in the neighborhood go nutzo. And newborns scream.

    • Better than newborns... take one into a maternity store some time and see what happens...

    • Re:Think of the dogs (Score:4, Interesting)

      by TheRealHocusLocus ( 2319802 ) on Friday December 05, 2014 @06:35AM (#48529451)

      Every time you touch it all the dogs in the neighborhood go nutzo

      Tormented hysterical dogs tearing at the flesh of beached whales, spatially confused elephants wandering into your living room.

      I'm bored, said humanity. Let us pump tremendous amounts of LF sonic energy into the air.

      Beat frequencies from these devices penetrating walls, resonating and combining with one another, infusing odd corners of adjacent rooms, hallways and buildings with whispers and throbbing tones. People will leave these things turned on, unaware or uncaring that beat frequencies and harmonics create lobes around others' beds tormenting people trying to sleep around them.

      Arson will be on the rise.
      Whole city blocks will burn.
      The sound of breaking glass and tearing metal.
      Then, all is quiet once again.
      Cue crickets.

  • "Are you signing to the deaf in slow motion, or running your invisible pr0n app?"

  • No holodeck comments yet?

  • This is the official way how holography works in the mass effect universe.

  • horray! that elusive aspect of the LCARS standard that requires those displayed buttons have haptic feedback is now achievable!

  • Improving haptic feedback is a good idea, as the current attempts simply don't feel realistic. However, doctors feeling tumours? Why? That's a sophisticated audience; people who have trained, through qualifications and experience, to understand tumours through imaging. Yes, scrolling through a CT scan with a mouse wheel isn't realistic, but they've learnt to accommodate.

    On the other hand, the masses using touchscreen, that's an open market. Maybe it's a worthwhile one, maybe it's not. But that's the market

  • Internet rule 34. How long will it take?

  • You know, that FF/Black Panther villain who makes solid sound objects? He's really solid sound himself, somehow he uses Vibranium to exist.
  • Will someone please build me the Tony Stark interface with this stuff?


  • We could build a holodeck this way.
  • By focussing complex patterns of ultrasound, the air disturbances can be seen as floating 3D shapes.

    I think someone's taken the special effect in the YouTube video too literally. I don't think ultrasound can make visible shapes in air.

    See it, touch it, feel it

    No, actually, just "touch it, feel it." And those are the same thing really.

  • Went and read the article (hey, someone on slashdot had to put up the $15). Anyway, at the end they had participants see if they could correctly guess the shape, and about 90% of them could. The haptic field produced here is no where near strong enough to stop or hinder hand movement. I imagine that the closest sensation to this in real life would be running your hand under a balloon and feeling the shape by how your hand hairs respond.

If all the world's economists were laid end to end, we wouldn't reach a conclusion. -- William Baumol