Jul 06, 2007
Japanese NTT has unveiled a system that makes three dimensional images solid enough to grasp. The device creates the illusion of depth perception and provides haptic feedback
I believe that among its potential applications, this technology could be effectively used in the rehabilitation of the upper limb following stroke
NTT engineer Shiro Ozawa, who developed the system, envisages various applications. "You would be able to take the hand, or gently pat the head, of your beloved grandchild who lives far away from you," he says.
Anthony Steed, who works with haptic systems at University College London, UK, says the real-time image capture made possible by the Tangible 3D system is especially interesting.
His own research group has performed related work. But this involved connecting a haptic device to a 2D display on which the user's hands are projected, rather than allowing users to manipulate virtual objects directly. He thinks the NTT system could make the interaction feel much more real, although the haptic glove could hinder this.
Steed's group wants to use such technology to make valuable museum exhibits touchable and is working with the British Museum in London towards this goal.