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Doo-doo-doo-doo / Can touch this
August 5, 2009 10:01 PM   Subscribe

Tactile Holography

``Although we can "see" holographic images as if they are really floating in front of us, we cannot "touch" them, because they are nothing but light...

`` The Airborne Ultrasound Tactile Display (PDF) solves this problem by producing tactile sensation on a user's hand without any direct contact and without diluting the quality of the holographic projection.''
posted by Blazecock Pileon (28 comments total) 14 users marked this as a favorite

 
Shall I be the first to bring up Rule 34? Hey, applications, you know?
posted by Xoebe at 10:12 PM on August 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


You realize that someday, the phrase "you fuck like a computer!" will become a common insult.

Or perhaps a compliment?
posted by Afroblanco at 10:12 PM on August 5, 2009


Hey, applications, you know?

Will humanity finally be able to punch someone in the face over TCP/IP?
posted by Fiasco da Gama at 10:12 PM on August 5, 2009 [7 favorites]


Will humanity finally be able to punch someone in the face over TCP/IP?

Ultrasonic tactile feedback grids are the holy grail of remote punching technology that we've all hoped and prayed for for so long.
posted by Burhanistan at 10:16 PM on August 5, 2009 [4 favorites]


definitely cool. Kind of limited application, though. I can definitely see it being used in an arcade machine in the near future.
posted by empath at 10:18 PM on August 5, 2009


A virtual image formed by a concave mirror is not the same as a hologram. Not convinced there is anything new here.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 10:21 PM on August 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


I would have used a reference to "Why Can't I Touch It" by The Buzzcocks for the title, but otherwise I have no beef with this FPP.
posted by Joey Michaels at 10:37 PM on August 5, 2009


Ultrasonic tactile feedback grids is bullshit compared to the USB Robotic Boxing Glove.
posted by aubilenon at 10:51 PM on August 5, 2009


Yeah, the mirror thing just moves the the appearance of the an object, but it can't generate an image of an object that doesn't exist. It looks like they were just creating an image of a flat object from a computer screen.

Also, it doesn't provide any real feedback, you would feel a little vibration or something on your hand, but not like touching a real object.
posted by delmoi at 10:51 PM on August 5, 2009


> Ultrasonic tactile feedback grids is bullshit compared to the USB Robotic Boxing Glove.

In all seriousness, I've long wondered why feedback gloves and bodysuits aren't further along.

Is simulating combinations of pressure, movement, texture, and heat prohibitively difficult and expensive?

(I would imagine texture could be non-trivial, but the others seem much simpler.)
posted by darth_tedious at 11:01 PM on August 5, 2009


darth_tedius: It's 'cause it's cheaper to just hire somebody to whack you in the head with a 2x4 periodically.
posted by aubilenon at 11:04 PM on August 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


>
darth_tedius: It's 'cause it's cheaper to just hire somebody to whack you in the head with a 2x4 periodically.

Ah.

Cf., WarriorForum and MechanicalTurk.
posted by darth_tedious at 11:14 PM on August 5, 2009


I suspect that rather than trying to solve the general problem of creating a realistic touch experience, they've simply come up with a way of letting you know "hey, your hand has entered the space where we've got something represented" -- it's essentially a UI thing rather than an an attempt at convincing simulation. Here's another video which seems to indicate as much. The claims are more modest, just pressure, nothing about feeling raindrops or the scurrying of a small creature.
And they do it without wearable hardware. That is pretty cool.

I agree the holography in the original link isn't that impressive, but I guess it doesn't bug me because I don't really expect it to be. It's clearly a demo, an experiment rather than a ready tool, and given some refinement I could see it being useful.
posted by weston at 11:23 PM on August 5, 2009


I'm less impressed by the "holography" but holy crap, phased arrays focusing sound at goddamn near pinpoint accuracy? FUCK. YEAH.
posted by chimaera at 11:36 PM on August 5, 2009 [2 favorites]


just pressure, nothing about feeling raindrops or the scurrying of a small creature.

That level of technology would certainly put me off Left4Dead forever...
posted by Harald74 at 12:48 AM on August 6, 2009


delmoi: Also, it doesn't provide any real feedback, you would feel a little vibration or something on your hand, but not like touching a real object.

*cough*vibrators*cough*
posted by Pronoiac at 12:52 AM on August 6, 2009


Fuck me, Obi-Wan Kenobi.
posted by pracowity at 2:03 AM on August 6, 2009


Is simulating combinations of pressure, movement, texture, and heat prohibitively difficult and expensive?

the four kinds of sensors in human skin are: pressure, pain, heat, and cold. but the main problem is resolution...theres lotsof these sensors in the skin, particularly in the face and hands. pressure and pain would require actuating motors that are tiny, very close together, and close to the skin to simulate fine texture (this air process seems like it would quickly dissolve into turbulence if the texture was too fine), heat would probably be the easiest to engineer (lots of little resistors), but cold would require lots of tiny refrigeration units...gah!
if i were to try to engineer a realistic 'sensation system' (given a large enough budget and a slew of experts) i would look into using lasers in some way to directly activate the individual sense cells...of course then you have the task of tracking a significant fraction of an individual's skin cells in real time from a distance...and that smells pretty expensive.
but the biggest problem is 'movement'...inertia and gravity just can't be faked (at least not with our current understanding of physics)...if you want the sensation of falling, you have to fall. there's a number of technologies out there though. (i once saw a 'ride and film' where a theater was installed with the seats on a moving platform (forward,back,left,right) and a 'roller coaster simulator' with a pod you strap into that spins around on an arm that also spins) most of these kinds of things work on the principle of 'a little motion, a lot of visual cues'...they tend to feel kind of 'floaty'...which isn't bad or unpleasant, necessarily, just not super-realistic. also they all tend to be bulky, expensive, single-purpose, packed with an excess of moving parts, and prone to breaking down. hmm...i wonder if you couldn't develop a tool that would act directly on the inner-ear fluid to simulate motion...it wouldnt be perfect (though there arent a lot of sensory cells in the body cavity, they are closely monitored by the brain...when you hang upside down, you definitely feel your guts moving around, right?), but it might be an interesting effect...
posted by sexyrobot at 2:41 AM on August 6, 2009


That phased array of ultrasonic emitters is pretty awesome. I wonder if that's doable (and affordable) for a DIY remake.

Also, I can't wait for this to be on the fritz with hilarious results for Picard, trapped inside.
posted by DU at 4:47 AM on August 6, 2009 [1 favorite]


I am already working on applications involving juggling!
posted by JtJ at 5:15 AM on August 6, 2009


The shots where the pressure disappears as they move the paper closer to the device and the pressure disappears give me the willies. Very, very cool.

To those who jumped in to say that the display isn't impressive or isn't holography have completely and utterly missed the point here. The holography isn't the new thing, and this technology doesn't seem to require any modification to function with whatever you think is cutting-edge or real holography.

I'll be waiting for the applications with baited breath. I'm hoping at least for something really stupid like those briefly lived holographic video games that were so terrible that after the novelty wore off, they disappeared completely. Because those 15 minutes before the novelty wore off...awesome.
posted by ErWenn at 6:10 AM on August 6, 2009


never in my life has the phrase "a small creature" been so exhilarating. When they refine this tech, I may not leave my house for days.
posted by Lipstick Thespian at 7:07 AM on August 6, 2009


If you want to imagine the future, picture a buzzing sensation all over a human face while a technician says "you should be able to feel the boot now".

In all seriousness: this is awesome. Some of the Siggraph stuff really does look like the Holodeck.
posted by WPW at 7:16 AM on August 6, 2009 [1 favorite]


Dildonics.
posted by Guy_Inamonkeysuit at 7:17 AM on August 6, 2009 [1 favorite]


Dildonics

Teledildonics, technically.
posted by FatherDagon at 12:10 PM on August 6, 2009


Suddenly this is a good place to link to this Web Drifter interview with the man who invented teledildonics.
posted by hippybear at 3:11 PM on August 6, 2009


Did someone say teledildonics?
posted by Pronoiac at 3:52 PM on August 6, 2009


This was always a problem with Star Trek. If you had a holodeck, would you EVER leave it?
posted by cthuljew at 11:08 PM on August 7, 2009


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