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Using Ultrasound for 3D Haptic Shapes

Category: Science & Technology
Posted: 03:15PM

Since the first rumble pack was developed, people have been trying to developer better and more advanced haptic systems to provide users with tactile information. In some cases haptics have even been used for rehabilitation and surgical training. Researchers at the University of Bristol have recently described a way to create 3D haptic shapes, which users can feel in mid-air.

To create these floating 3D shapes, the researchers use ultrasound patterns that combine and cancel out to create air disturbances. These disturbances are invisible but can be felt by a hand entering the projected, haptic shape. To visualize the effect, the researchers aimed the patterns at a layer of oil, showing off the technologies ability to project moving objects and multiple objects at the same time.

Last year some of the same researchers also developed UltraHaptics technology, which could similarly provide haptic feedback in the air, though in that case to identify buttons on a display. This new technology could be used to let surgeons feel diseases, like tumors, by touching haptic recreations from CT scans.

Source: University of Bristol

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