Reaching out and touching someone just got a whole lot more tech-inclusive.
Gaming controllers have evolved from passive systems to experiences where your entire body is involved, and a new controller technology from Tactical Haptics makes things even more immersive.
A technology called "ultrahaptics" can create a sensation of touch in mid-air using focused ultrasonic sound.
Disney creates tech that allows you to feel the shape and texture of items pictured on a perfectly flat touchscreen.
This conversation will surely go to a place we did not mean it to, but we'll give it a whirl: Did you ever wish you could get more intimate with the Internet? We spend so much time in the virtual space, but only explore it with two senses. Kind of a pity for a species that experiences so much through touch. But researchers around the world are developing various forms of haptic technologies that will further merge the tactile and the digital. Why should we settle for some silly virtual Facebook "poke," when we could be literally poking our friends from anywhere in the world? The 1970s saw the first vibrating beepers (kids, ask your parents or see early-'90s rap videos) that converted data into physical sensation. This primordial buzzy tech evolved little as it found its way into our current crop of smartphones and game controllers. But untargeted vibrating gadgets only hint at what haptics have to offer. To that end, we present eight promising technologies that will further plug our mortal coils into The Matrix. These tactile gadgets may one day be seen as a stop-gap before The Singularity comes and our brains connect directly to computers where we experiences sensations from phantom limbs we never even knew existed. But, in the mean time, here's some cool tech that allow us to smack, prod, and pinch the digital world. (And vice versa.) Poke the gallery below to get rolling. Bonus if you're tapping on a touchscreen.
They say that robots are the future of combat, and we've seen examples ranging from robot scouts to robot fighter jets. Next in line are the soldiers themselves, as a new haptic belt transmits GPS directions and simple commands to allow soldiers to be remote controlled.
The device looks like an ordinary box attached to a computer with a rotating straw. A closer look reveals otherwise. Students at Japan's Kajimoto Laboratory at the University of Electro-Communications have created a small device that uses motor rotations with the aim to simulate the feeling of a kiss over the Internet. Warning: this might be the most disturbing thing you'll see today.
Speaking at a TED event in Berlin, design researcher, Fabian Hemmert showed off three cellphone prototypes that would put the "touch" back in "keeping in touch." Your iPhone might have a lot of apps, but there aren't any apps for these features.