by Staff Writers
Tsukuba, Japan (AFP) Sept 01, 2014
Technology that generates touchable 3D imagery was unveiled in Japan Monday, with its developers saying users could pull and push objects that are not really there.
Know-how that could improve a gaming experience, or allow someone to physically shape objects that exist only on a computer, will soon be available to buy, said Miraisens, a high-tech firm based outside Tokyo.
"Touching is an important part of human communication but virtual reality has until now been lacking it," its chief executive Natsuo Koda told a press conference.
"This technology will give you a sense that you can touch objects in the 3D world," said Koda, a former Sony researcher on virtual reality.
It works by fooling the brain, blending the images the eye is seeing with different patterns of vibration created by a small device on the fingertip, said Norio Nakamura, the inventor of "3D-Haptics Technology" and chief technical officer at the firm.
In one demonstration of a prototype head-mounted display, the company showed how the user can feel resistance from virtual buttons that he or she is pushing.
Miraisens is a spin-off of the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology based in the city of Tsukuba east of Tokyo.
Billing the technology as a world first, the company says it wants to commercialise it through applications in electronics and the services industry.
The system can be built into devices in the shape of coins, sticks or pens, amongst others.
Company officials said they could foresee a number of ways of using the technology.
For example, if built into a game controller, it could be used to give a sense of resistance in response to certain actions within the game, they said.
It could also be used to make up complicated data that could be fed into a 3D printer, allowing a child to make a virtual dinosaur model and then watch it come into existence.
Other applications could include help for doctors carrying out surgery remotely, or navigation assistance in canes used by visually impaired people.
Space Technology News - Applications and Research
|The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement All images and articles appearing on Space Media Network have been edited or digitally altered in some way. Any requests to remove copyright material will be acted upon in a timely and appropriate manner. Any attempt to extort money from Space Media Network will be ignored and reported to Australian Law Enforcement Agencies as a potential case of financial fraud involving the use of a telephonic carriage device or postal service.|