Glasgow University Develops Touchable Holograms
Glasgow University engineers develop the world's first touchable holograms.
12:34 06 September 2021
Engineers at Glasgow University have successfully developed the world's first haptic or touchable holograms.
The concept of touchable holograms is a piece of science fiction technology that has appeared in movies like Star Trek, where characters interact with computer simulations of objects, people and places.
The team, who published their findings in the journal Advanced Intelligent Systems, confirmed the development of a new technique that pairs volumetric display technology with precisely controlled jets of air to create the sensation of touch on users' hands, fingers and wrists.
Professor Ravinder Dahiya of the University of Glasgow’s James Watt School of Engineering leads the Bendable Electronics and Sensing Technologies (BEST) group, which developed the system, said: “Haptic feedback and volumetric display technology has come a long way in recent years, bringing us closer to being able to convincingly interact with virtual objects.
“However, current haptic tech often still involves wearable or handheld peripherals, which add cost and complication and could be holding back widespread adoption of the technology.
“Aerohaptics creates a convincing sensation of physical interaction on users’ hands at a relatively low cost. We are already looking in to adding additional functionality to the system, such as adding temperature control to their airflow to deepen the sensation of interacting with hot or cool objects.
“We believe aerohaptics could form the basis for many new applications in the future, such as creating convincing, interactive 3D renderings of real people for teleconferences. It could help teach surgeons to perform tricky procedures in virtual spaces during their training, or even allow them to command robots to do the surgeries for real. We’re looking forward to exploring the possibilities as we continue to develop the system.”