Feel it in your fingers, feel it in your toes: haptic flooring

Paul Raven @ 29-04-2010

Via Chairman Bruce, here’s an interior design concept for those of you who find carpets or exposed boards a little pedestrian (arf!) – augmented reality floor tiles. SRSLY.

Researchers at McGill University in Montreal, Canada have developed floor tiles that can simulate the look, sound and feel of snow, grass or pebbles underfoot. Such a tool could perhaps be used for augmented reality applications, tele-presence, training, rehabilitation or even as virtual foot controllers.

The modular “haptic” floor tiling system is made up of a deformable plate suspended on a platform. Between the plate and platform are sensors that detect forces from the user’s foot. And the plate can give off vibrations that mimic the feeling of stepping on different materials. A top-down projection and speakers add visual and audio feedback.

A long-distant precursor of an essential component for the the StarTrek holodeck, perhaps?


In your face interface

Tom James @ 06-08-2009

The folks at Technology Review have run up a top ten of futurismic display/interface combos, all on display at SIGGRAPH 2009, I particularly like the haptic holography from researchers at the University of Tokyo:

The virtual objects appear in mid-air thanks to an LCD and a concave mirror. The sensation of touching the objects is created using an ultrasound device positioned below the LCD and mirror.

It’ll be interesting to see whether people end up using more traditional haptic devices like gloves and goggles combinations, or choose something based on holography and sound waves.

Also note that Wii remotes are used as off-the-shelf sensors, the street, or academia, finds its own use for things.


Can I borrow a feeling?

Tom James @ 23-03-2009

hapticsjacketWonderful haptic jacket being developed at Phillips Electronics, from Physorg:

Paul Lemmens, a Philips senior scientist, explains that the jacket isn’t meant to make viewers feel the actual punches and blows that the actors are receiving on the screen. Rather, the intentions are more subtle.

The jacket’s purpose is to make viewers feel anxiety and other emotions through signals such as sending a shiver up the viewer’s spine, creating tension in the limbs, and creating a pulse on the chest to simulate a rapid heartbeat.

Intense.

[image from PhysOrg]


The Haptic Creature – robot rabbit talks with touch

Paul Raven @ 27-05-2008

The Haptic Creature - robot rabbitIn an effort to deepen the experience of humans interacting with robots, Steve Yohanan has been concentrating on the largely-neglected fifth sense of touch. The Haptic Creature is a robot rabbit that only communicates through a haptic interface – in other words, it responds to touch with movement. [image borrowed from NewScientist article]

Yohanan and others believe that haptics are a faster route to creating an emotional response … I wonder if the guys at Ai Robotics have included haptics in their soon-to-be-launched “Perfect Woman” robots?


Haptic body-hacks – the braille tattoo

Paul Raven @ 22-10-2007

haptic tattoo While we’re still a way off from being able to meaningfully extend the functional capabilities of the human body through elective surgery (at least affordably), there’s still plenty of more cosmetic tweaks available. But the lines between personal decoration and function can be blurred, especially when art comes in to play – like this "haptic tattoo" concept from the digital media art department of Berlin University, which could theoretically allow people with restricted or low-function vision to parse information about a person by touch. Granted, it’s not a use that I can envisage a huge demand for, but the concept is interesting – and as a body-modder of sorts, it’s refreshing for me to see things like sub-dermal implants being taken seriously by academia, as opposed to being castigated as a form of primitivism. [Via Technovelgy]

[tags]haptics, braille, tattoo, body-mod[/tags]