Photoelastic Touch previews future of haptic interfaces

A Japanese team of researchers, led by Hideki Koike, has created a new kind of touch interface that uses rubbery material, thus allowing for a more tactile experience that opens up a myriad of computing possibilities. Called PhotoelasticTouch, the interface system uses transparent elastic material to offer a completely haptic interface, as shown in the photo above (the face on the computer is being pinched via a rubber face mold).

Koike imagines that one day this interface could be used to train doctors on how to operate on the brain by giving surgeons a real time touch response to their actions. The breakthrough interface was presented at the recent ACM Symposium on User Interface Software and Technology in Victoria, Canada. You can see video of the interface in action here.

Via New Scientist