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Japan Creates a ‘Touchable’ Hologram in Japan

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Scientists have just created the world’s first ‘touchable’ hologram, and it enables users the impression that they are actually touching objects that aren’t actually there. They’re calling it the Haptoclone and it was created by researchers working with haptic feedback inside the University of Tokyo’s Department of Complexity Science and Engineering. The experiment consists of two different boxes, one holds an object and then the other displays a hologram of it, and when your hands come into “contact” with this 3D displayed image in the other box, the hologram gives off an ultrasonic radiation pressure, which makes the user feel as though they are actually touching an object.

While this is happening there are aerial imaging panels that will act like a mirror, which creates a hologram of the hand appear visually in the other box, so it can manipulate the original object. The feel of this new technology is amazing realistic, and reporters are saying they could tell that this holographic image of a ball was made of inflated plastic just by touch. As of right now the Haptoclone is limited because it must only emit safe levels of radiation, which means most sensations are limited to a light stroke rather than a hug or a handshake.

“The level of ultrasound we’re using is very safe, but if it’s too strong, ultrasound can damage the insides of the human body, such as the nerves and other tissues,” says Hiroyuki Shinoda who is a professor at this university, “We have to consider the limitation”. Scientists are hoping that the next step in the evolution of the technology across every form of communication, which will allow users that sensation of feeling a virtual handshake or a hug though the miracle of the internet.

 “It would be great to allow people in different locations to communicate with one another while experiencing a sense of touch. Imagine if you were in a zoo and there was a lion of the other side of the glass that you could have the sensation of touching,” says Yasutoshi Makino. 

Wouldn’t that be great.


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