Virtual reality has reached the point where it can easily fool our vision and sense of depth and balance. But if it’s to be truly believable our sense of touch needs to be indulged as well. That’s the goal of the English company Ultrahaptics. The company is working on a device that allows users to “feel” something that’s not actually there.
Invented by students at the University of Bristol, Ultrahaptics uses an array of small ultrasound speakers to create “a noticeable pressure difference” on a user’s hands, creating the feeling of touching something that’s not really there. The Ultrahaptics device uses a Leap Motion sensor to track the user’s hands. This makes it possible to create simulations that lets you feel the different parts of an object, i.e. it will know if you’re touching the top, side or bottom of a virtual object and respond accordingly.
Ultrahaptics’ Ben Long said that they can improve their device by using more and smaller speakers. I wonder if it’s strong enough to simulate projectiles or hard objects like walls. You can read up on Ultrahaptics at the University of Bristol’s website.
[via New Scientist]