Ah, the wonders of technology
Back in the day, holograms were considered a 3D photographic recording that you could observe in real time but now it seems like scientists have taken it one step further and you can actually touch and feel the hologram pictures as real objects!
Scientists from the University of Glasgow have created a hologram system that makes use of air jets known as “aerohaptics” to replicate the sensation of touch. According to Ravinder Daahiya, a researcher working on the project, the air jets allow you to feel ‘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,” said Daahiya. The full published paper can be read here.
If you’re wondering whether a smart glove or a handheld device is required to experience the touch sensation of the holograms, then don’t worry. The system doesn’t require any handheld controller to produce the sense of touch, instead it makes use of a nozzle that is able to respond to movements of your hand and blow air with appropriate force.
To test the accuracy of the system, Daahiya and his team made use of an interactive basketball projection that could be “touched, rolled and bounced”, similar to playing basketball in real life! “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,” he said.
While the touch experience is still very limited for now, Daahiya is hopeful that it would have a great impact on video game experience in the future where players would be able to touch objects smack those zombies in real time!