A centuries-old magic trick is helping us make holograms we can feel

Ravinder Dahiya is a professor of Electronics and Nanoengineering at the University of Glasgow. This story originally featured on The Conversation.

© Becky Fantham/Unsplash Even Star Wars couldn’t imagine touch-able holograms in its many sci-fi worlds.

The TV show Star Trek: The Next Generation introduced millions of people to the idea of a holodeck: an immersive, realistic 3D holographic projection of a complete environment that you could interact with and even touch.

In the 21st century, holograms are already being used in a variety of ways such as medical systems, education, art, security, and defense. Scientists are still developing ways to use lasers, modern digital processors, and motion-sensing technologies to create several different types of holograms which could change the way we interact.

My colleagues and I working in the University of Glasgow’s bendable electronics and sensing technologies research group have now developed a system of holograms of people using “aerohaptics”, creating feelings of touch with jets of air. Those jets of air deliver a sensation of touch on people’s fingers, hands, and wrists.

In time, this could be developed to allow you to meet a virtual avatar of a colleague on the other side of the world and really feel their handshake. It could even be the first steps towards building something like a holodeck.

To create this feeling of touch we use affordable, commercially available parts to pair computer-generated graphics with carefully directed and controlled jets of air.

In some ways, it’s a step beyond the current generation of virtual reality, which usually requires a headset to deliver 3D graphics and smart gloves or handheld controllers to provide haptic feedback, a stimulation that feels like touch. Most of the wearable gadgets-based approaches are limited to controlling the virtual object that is being displayed.

Controlling a virtual object doesn’t give the feeling that you would experience when two people touch. The addition of an artificial touch sensation can deliver the additional dimension without having to wear gloves to feel objects, and so feels much more natural.

Pushing a button allows the user to feel pressure which feels like touch. University of Glasgow. Diagram Ravinder Dahiya

Our research uses graphics that provide the illusion of a 3D virtual image. It’s a modern variation on a 19th-century illusion technique known as Pepper’s Ghost, which thrilled Victorian theatregoers with visions of the supernatural onstage.

The systems uses glass and mirrors to make a two-dimensional image appear to hover in space without the need for any additional equipment. And our haptic feedback is created with nothing but air.

The mirrors making up our system are arranged in a pyramid shape with one open side. Users put their hands through the open side and interact with computer-generated objects which appear to be floating in free space inside the pyramid. The objects are graphics created and controlled by a software programme called Unity Game Engine, which is often used to create 3D objects and worlds in videogames.

Located just below the pyramid is a sensor that tracks the movements of users’ hands and fingers, and a single air nozzle, which directs jets of air towards them to create complex sensations of touch. The overall system is directed by electronic hardware programmed to control nozzle movements. We developed an algorithm which allowed the air nozzle to respond to the movements of users’ hands with appropriate combinations of direction and force.

One of the ways we’ve demonstrated the capabilities of the “aerohaptic” system is with an interactive projection of a basketball, which can be convincingly touched, rolled, and bounced. The touch feedback from air jets from the system is also modulated based on the virtual surface of the basketball, allowing users to feel the rounded shape of the ball as it rolls from their fingertips when they bounce it and the slap in their palm when it returns.

Users can even push the virtual ball with varying force and sense the resulting difference in how a hard bounce or a soft bounce feels in their palm. Even something as apparently simple as bouncing a basketball required us to work hard to model the physics of the action and how we could replicate that familiar sensation with jets of air.

While we don’t expect to be delivering a full Star Trek holodeck experience in the near future, we’re already boldly going in new directions to add additional functions to the system. Soon, we expect to be able to modify the temperature of the airflow to allow users to feel hot or cold surfaces. We’re also exploring the possibility of adding scents to the airflow, deepening the illusion of virtual objects by allowing users to smell as well as touch them.

As the system expands and develops, we expect that it may find uses in a wide range of sectors. Delivering more absorbing video game experiences without having to wear cumbersome equipment is an obvious one, but it could also allow more convincing teleconferencing too. You could even take turns to add components to a virtual circuit board as you collaborate on a project.

It could also help clinicians to collaborate on treatments for patients, and make patients feel more involved and informed in the process. Doctors could view, feel, and discuss the features of tumor cells, and show patients plans for a medical procedure.

Internet Explorer Channel Network
News Related

OTHER NEWS

OVHcloud releases new Advance Bare Metal Servers for SMEs

OVHcloud has announced a new lineup of mid-range dedicated servers aimed at SMEs which are equipped with the latest generation of components. As part of this new offering, the European ... Read more »

Coronation Street confirms Corey Brent's exit storyline

Coronation Street spoilers follow. Coronation Street has revealed that Corey Brent's storyline will finally come to a head next week. Fans are hoping that Corey will face his comeuppance at ... Read more »

Chef spoofs Salt Bae's £1,450 steak by serving £12 gold leaf pork pie

Chef Gareth Mason from the Absolute Bar and Bistro, Bolton, who has spoofed Salt Bae with his golden pork pie. (SWNS) Celebrity chef Salt Bae has taken a lot of ... Read more »

Samsung Card Q3 net profit up 8.9 pct. to 139.5 bln won

SEOUL, Oct. 26 (Yonhap) — Samsung Card Co. on Tuesday reported its third-quarter net income of 139.5 billion won (US$119.5 million), up 8.9 percent from a year earlier. Operating profit ... Read more »

(LEAD) SK hynix delivers solid Q3 performance on rising memory prices

(ATTN: CHANGES headline, lead; REWRITES; ADDS photos)By Woo Jae-yeon SEOUL, Oct. 26 (Yonhap) — SK hynix Inc., South Korea’s No. 2 chipmaker, reported strong third-quarter earnings Tuesday on the back ... Read more »

At least 2 dead in Boise, Idaho, mall shooting, authorities say; suspect arrested

At least two people are dead and four others are injured, including a police officer, after a shooting at a shopping mall Monday in Boise, Idaho, authorities said. At a ... Read more »

Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin unveils plans to occupy space

Jeff Bezos apparently wasn’t satisfied with merely flying through space. The world’s richest person now wants to occupy it. Bezos’ Blue Origin on Monday to build a commercial space station ... Read more »

Rust Gaffer Says He Held Halyna Hutchins 'While She Was Dying,' Blames Her Death on 'Negligence'

Cinematographer Halyna Hutchins' colleague on the set of Rust is revealing his account of the tragic shooting that took her life last week. Serge Svetnoy, who served as the electrician ... Read more »

Cybercriminals secretly plan to run down entire security teams, here's what businesses can do

After a year of high-profile cyberattacks, including ransomware campaigns on organizations such as JBS, Colonial Pipeline, Kaseya and more, the need for organizations to prioritize cybersecurity holds more weight than ... Read more »

Google's 'FrightGeist' lists the most popular 2021 Halloween costumes. Is yours one of them?

Worried about someone having the same costume as you at the Halloween party you are going to? Google may be able to help you. With COVID-19 cases down compared to ... Read more »

MacBook Air (2020) vs MacBook Pro (2020) which is the best for you?

When it comes to the Apple MacBook Air (2020) vs MacBook Pro (2020) in the battle for the M1 crown, it’s really going to come down to whether you’re looking ... Read more »

GameStop PS5 restock in-store event on Friday – all 225 stores and times listed

There’s another GameStop PS5 restock in-store event in the US, and the official date is Friday, October 29. This is your chance to buy the Sony PlayStation 5 console, if ... Read more »

Tech hub Shenzhen calls off new trade shows in city amid rising Covid-19 infections in other parts of China

Shenzhen, the southern tech hub known as China’s Silicon Valley, has either postponed or cancelled a number of trade fairs and exhibitions that the city was expected to host this ... Read more »

Saints vs Seahawks live stream: how to watch NFL Monday Night Football online anywhere

Geno Smith isn’t exactly getting an easy time of it on his return to NFL action. First the Rams, then the Steelers, and now a well-rested Saints team coming off ... Read more »

Facebook profits top $9bn despite facing recent whistleblower revelations

© Provided by The Guardian Photograph: Jenny Kane/AP Facebook’s profits topped $9bn during its most recent financial quarter, clearing investor predictions even as the company faces an onslaught of negative ... Read more »

Zoom free users are getting this super helpful feature at last

Zoom has announced that it will bring a popular feature from the paid version of its video conferencing software to all of its free users in an effort to make ... Read more »

10 super spooky horror games to play this Halloween

— Recommendations are independently chosen by Reviewed’s editors. Purchases you make through our links may earn us a commission. While nothing is stopping you from playing horror games at any ... Read more »

France plans 'go slow' strategy on British lorries in retaliation over fishing row

Lorries – Paul Grover for the Telegraph France is preparing to implement a go-slow strategy for customs checks on shipments to and from Britain ahead of Christmas in an escalation ... Read more »

Katharine Hayhoe, The Nature Conservancy and Christian Braneon, NASA GISS, on Yahoo Finance's AMS 2021

Understanding climate change and its effects, with Katharine Hayhoe The Nature Conservancy Chief Scientist & Christian Braneon NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies Columbia University Climate School Read more »

Intel CEO: My job is to win Apple back

Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger says the ball is in the chip giant's court to win back lost business from the Mac making Apple. “My job is to win them [Apple] ... Read more »

Facebook whistleblower tells UK lawmakers until 'incentives change,' the company won't

Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen, weeks after testifying before Congress, on Monday delivered to members of the British Parliament a similar message : The social network giant has cultivated a platform ... Read more »

Closing the gap between understanding climate change and fixing it

In an interview with Yahoo Finance’s Rick Newman, Katharine Hayhoe The Nature Conservancy Chief Scientist & Christian Braneon NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies Columbia University Climate School discuss how ... Read more »

Giovanni Pernice denies ‘wrongdoing' after reported split from Maura Higgins

Strictly Come Dancing star Giovanni Pernice has denied that “wrongdoing” led to his recent breakup following his reported split from Maura Higgins. The professional dancer was reported to have split ... Read more »

Shiloh Jolie-Pitt's Yellow Leopard Sneakers Make Headlines - Here's Where They're From

Angelina Jolie may be dropping jaws left and right, wearing beautiful gowns by Atelier Versace, Balmain, and Ralph Lauren on the Eternals red carpets, but her daughters are making sustainable ... Read more »

Judi Love says 'Strictly' fitness is helping her cope with COVID

Judi Love says her Strictly fitness is helping her fight COVID. (BBC/Guy Levy) Judi Love has said she is thankful for having got fit through training for Strictly Come Dancing ... Read more »

So it turns out the MacBook Pro's M1 Max isn't a gaming chip, does it matter?

The M1 Max was announced, along with the new MacBook Pro computers, about a week ago. I was pretty impressed by it on paper, but now performance information is starting ... Read more »

Shop the Allswell Friends and Family sale for dreamy discounts on luxury mattresses and more

— Recommendations are independently chosen by Reviewed’s editors. Purchases you make through our links may earn us a commission. While the holidays may be the most wonderful time of the ... Read more »

The best city building games to rule the urban jungle

The best city building games give you power. Like, a lot of power. All the power, sometimes. And, depending on your own sensibilities, sometimes too much power. Which is to ... Read more »

Oakley vs. 3M: How does a $100+ and a $10 pair of safety glasses compare?

— Recommendations are independently chosen by Reviewed’s editors. Purchases you make through our links may earn us a commission. A good pair of safety glasses is one of the most ... Read more »

We might have just seen our first exoplanet in another galaxy

Astronomers at the Chandra X-ray Observatory just announced that they might have identified an exoplanet in another galaxy for the first time ever. The possible exoplanet candidate was spotted in ... Read more »

No one is coming to save our graphics cards from the cryptomines

There are a lot of reasons why the best graphics cards are nearly impossible to find right now. There’s the issue of the ongoing chip shortage, a broader supply chain ... Read more »

Ransomware cyber attacks double in a year, reveals spy chief

Increasing numbers of people are being held to ransom by cyber attackers – Peter Byrne/PA Wire Cyber attacks doubled in the last year, the chief of GCHQ has revealed – ... Read more »

Why the Musk vs. Bezos space feud is probably fake

Flick through a news feed on your phone and you are likely to scroll across an article of the new space race. Forget the geopolitical struggles of a cold war. ... Read more »

Sony WF-1000XM3 Wireless Earbuds

The Sony WF-1000XM3 True Wireless headphones have a lot to live up to: Launched as part of the brand’s lauded 1000X family of noise-cancelling headphones – that includes the award-winning ... Read more »

Best iPad deals 2021: cheapest iPad Air, iPad Pro and iPad Mini prices

Apple’s iPads are some of the best tablets around. And with a range of models at various price points, there’s something for everyone. Here we’ve rounded up the best iPad ... Read more »

2 border agents are fired for offensive Facebook posts

Two Border Patrol agents were fired from among 60 found to have committed misconduct for participating in a private Facebook group that mocked migrants and lawmakers, investigators said Monday in ... Read more »

Leaker of 178m Facebook profiles facing massive lawsuit

Facebook is suing a Ukrainian national for violating the terms of service of its social network after he allegedly harvested the data of 178m users and sold it online on ... Read more »

Intel might have spoiled its Arc Alchemist GPU pricing months before launch

While not much is officially known about Intel’s upcoming Arc Alchemist graphics card, the terms and conditions of its recent competition event might clue us in to the GPU’s price. ... Read more »

Speaker says ministers should resign for pre-Budget briefings on spending

(PA) Sir Lindsay Hoyle has suggested ministers should resign for pre-briefing details of the Budget, as he said it was unacceptable for the government to “try to run roughshod” over ... Read more »
On free-english-test.com you will find lots of free English exam practice materials to help you improve your English skills: grammar, listening, reading, writing, ielts, toeic