Shunal DokeJul 04, 2013 11:27:59 IST
Presenting tomorrow's touchscreen displays. Microsoft has shown off a 3D monitor that, thanks to some sorcery, is able to give real haptic feedback to whoever touches it. The haptic feedback on the monitor isn't a simple vibration that lets you know you've touched it. Instead, it mimics the feedback you would get when touching the object in the real world. Microsoft demonstrated this with cubes made of different materials on the monitor. Touching the stone cube would result in the same hardness as a real stone, while touching a sponge cube made the monitor softer.
Microsoft has explained this on its Research blog. According to the blog, haptic technology does “for the sense of touch what computer graphics does for vision.”
The monitor makes use of haptic technology to let users "feel" the hardness of objects
This is done through the use of a robotic arm that "pushes" back from inside wherever users touch it. The force of these pushes vary according to the object on the screen. "The force-feedback monitor responds to convey the sensation of different materials: The stone block “feels” hard to the touch and requires more force to push, while the sponge block is soft and easy to push," reads the blog post.
Along with haptic technology, Microsoft is using 3D technology that tracks the user and automatically adjusts the angle and size of the object being displayed. This gives it the illusion of depth. According to Microsoft Engineer Michel Pahud, this combined with haptic technology is enough “for your brain to accept the virtual world as real.”
Pahud goes on to describe the possible uses of this technology, such as in medicine. “I could see an image of the front of a brain,” says Pahud, “and pushing a finger through the layers of the brain to travel through the data. I could imagine receiving haptic feedback when you encountered an anomaly, such as a tumor, because we can change the haptic response based on what you touch.”
“You could have different responses for when you touch soft tissue versus hard tissue, which makes for a very rich experience.”
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