Ultrasound Technology Adds New Dimension to Games

Ultrasound Technology Adds New Dimension to Games

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Japanese researchers have unveiled a new way of using focused sound waves to create virtual objects in mid-air, a technology that could have a major impact on the future development of videogame controls.

A major advancement in the integration of the sense of touch and computing, a field known as haptics, the new system was developed by a University of Tokyo team led by Takayuki Iwamoto. The device makes use of several "ultrasonic transducers," which emit inaudible sound waves that can create focal points of pressure as they intermingle, creating a feeling of solid mass in empty space. The system in its current state can only produce a small vertical force, but the team is working on improving the design of the device to increase the feeling of stiffness as well as to allow more more contoured objects. The device holds particular potential for videogames and 3-D modeling software, and Iwamoto said he'd received "several proposals from industrial companies" during a demonstration last month in California.

"You can feel it with both hands, rather than having just a single point of contact, and multiple people can use it at the same time," said Professor Stephen Brewster of the University of Glasgow, a haptics researcher who called the system "the first of its kind."

"The kinds of things we [currently] use are connected through mechanical arms, or you're wearing some kind of exoskeleton," he continued. "It's great to have something that you can just walk up and use and not need any other kind of hardware you have to hold or wear."

The only drawback to the technology is that excess sound pressure could cause the ultrasound waves to scatter, which could potentially cause hearing damage. As a result, there are limits to how hard or stiff objects created by the technology can be. A video of the technology in action can be seen on YouTube.

Source: BBC

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...Holy crap... now, lets combine this with that mind control game tech demo they've been using, and see what we get!

I'm curious about the resolution of the machine they're showing.
If I understand correctly, it generates a 2D plane with height differences, similar to a height map for a video game terrain.
Is it possible to move underneath the virtual object without disturbing the "image"?
What would happen if you'd drop a handkerchief over the Utah teapot, magician-style?
Maybe I just need to do some more reading, don't just stop at the video.
Anyway, cool technology that makes me think of the tangible Star Trek holograms for some reason. :)

One step beyond the rumble pack. Instead of feeling a rumble in your hands when something explodes, you feel the force of the explosion.

Keep drinks out of the path of this device.

Hmmmm...So we could use this device to actually create all those invisible walls that we run into in video games I suppose. Nobody will ever be able to say that those invisible walls are unrealistic again.

I can't see this becoming available to the public in the next 10 years. Maybe in the next 20 years, but I don't think they'll have the bugs worked out for production for quite some time.

If it can be sensitive enough to recognize multiple independant finger movement, here goes the glove.
Place the pod on the arm of the sofa, and that's ace.

I could just be dense, but I don't really get it. It's amazing that they can create a "solid" object in mid-air from just sound waves but without being able to see the object it falls flat. This would be great as a sort of mouse device to control things and "feel" the device under your hand. I hope they fix the problem with the waves scattering and bursting people's eardrums.

Ronmarru:
It's amazing that they can create a "solid" object in mid-air from just sound waves but without being able to see the object it falls flat.

They're already making some great advances with holographic projection. Imagine if they could combine that with eye-tracking technology and this ultrasonic-resistance device- a projected 3D image with corresponding "tactile display" that could rotate according to your viewpoint.

Given technology capable of ultrafine displays and inputs, I could see remote-control surgery or other long-distance, highly-technical work being possible.

Ronmarru:
I could just be dense, but I don't really get it. It's amazing that they can create a "solid" object in mid-air from just sound waves but without being able to see the object it falls flat. This would be great as a sort of mouse device to control things and "feel" the device under your hand. I hope they fix the problem with the waves scattering and bursting people's eardrums.

The question is, when you play, do you often look at your controllers? If anything, it should be so intuitive that you always know where the triggers are. In this case, all you'll need to do is center your hand ontop of the pad.

That said, the other accurate motion sensing systems developped right now and looking at your body limbs are just as impressive, if not more.

Holy shit, we really will eventually have holodecks. Friggin' sweet!

Lvl 64 Klutz:
Holy shit, we really will eventually have holodecks. Friggin' sweet!

Not holodecks... Sonardecks?
Sonicseats?
Reverboards?

Auron555:

Lvl 64 Klutz:
Holy shit, we really will eventually have holodecks. Friggin' sweet!

Not holodecks... Sonardecks?
Sonicseats?
Reverboards?

If you think of it, this stuff is just the beginning, I was thinking more along the lines of where this technology could go and how it could combine with visual technology, etc.

eh. not really WORLD-CHANGING.....maybe just a little curiosity that will die out in a few years...will make a comeback 50 years later.
I called it.

 

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