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July 19, 2010 / Karthikeyan Natarajan

Touchable Holography

It’s cool enough to have holograms, but what if you could actually touch them? This was a project that some researchers at the University of Tokyo took on, and have achieved some interesting results.

You can watch a video of what ttouch_holography-620x345hey have done after the jump, but here is a quick summary. First, they used two Wiimotes (yes, Wiimotes) to track a holographic object in realtime and space. So when that hand that you see in the picture tries to dribble that tiny ball, it responds like a real superball would.

Ultrasounds are then given so the hand can actually “feel” the impact. Experiements have shown that the ultrasounds can disrupt things from a distance, and if focused properly, they can create a sense of touch. At the end of the video is that hand underneath some raindrops, and it can apparently “feel” them.

This is definitely one of those “this could change everything” technologies

, but it is still in its fetal stage. In other words, don’t be dreaming about having your own holodeck from Star Trek TNG anytime soon. By the way, I believe that technology used energy and matter conversion.

Man, I am such a geek sometimes. I’ll prove it yet again by saying that this technology reminds me of a short-lived show called Automan. It was about a guy who created a holographic man who others could actually feel. He even had an Autocar and Autoplane which were also tangible holograms.

Yeah, we are a long way holograms that we can feel. I suppose if they had this touch holograms in Star Wars, then Luke Skywalker could have felt Princess Leia saying “help me Obi-Wan Kenobi”.



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