Hovering 3D Shapes That Can Be Seen And Felt Created by an Ultrasound



Have you heard of haptic technology?  Scientists have invented a new method for creating three-dimensional haptic shapes in mid-air using focused ultrasound which creates 3D haptic shapes that can be seen and felt. This approach applies the principles of acoustic radiation force. Its everywhere, for instance the buzzing of your smart phone or the vibration rumble of your Wii controller are both haptic effects.  it’s used in surgical training and for rehabilitation of stroke patients.

Based at the University of Bristol, Researchers foresee that this innovative technology could transform the way that we use 3D haptic shapes.  Touchable holograms to augment learning, or for gaming experience, allowing users to literally feel the game, such as a baseball, soccer, football, and more.

The method, exploits an effect produced by ultrasound called acoustic radiation force, which is the scattering and absorption of the acoustic wave. It is possible to deduce the shape of the object. By focusing complex patterns of ultrasound onto our hands, it is possible to feel the shapes. The researchers created air disturbances that could be felt on the skin and seen as floating 3D shapes. 

“Touchable holograms, immersive virtual reality that you can feel and complex touchable controls in free space, are all possible ways of using this system,” lead author Dr. Ben Long said in a news release. “In the future, people could feel holograms of objects that would not otherwise be possible, such as feeling the differences between materials in a CT scan or understanding the shapes of artifacts in a museum.”