New Technology Lets You Physically Feel Virtual Objects

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New Technology Lets You Physically Feel Virtual Objects

Disney's new "Aireal" tech uses bursts of compressed air to simulate a physical object in a virtual game.

Playing Wii tennis was pretty fun, until people discovered that you could just wildly flail the wiimote and get a better score than someone who was actually mimicking tennis strokes. The key reasoning behind this was that you couldn't physically feel the tennis ball. This is a problem that may be a thing of the past, thanks to a new technology called "Aireal" from the Disney Research labs. Aireal is a new haptic technology that lets users feel virtual objects in the air in front of them, as well as providing tactile feedback on various gestures.

The technology works by directing bursts of air to places in space which coincide with the virtual object being represented. Aireal works with a depth camera and whatever application is running to figure out where to direct the air, which it shoots out in doughnut-shaped vortices akin to fast, focused smoke rings. Simply put, it blows compressed air into your hands that simulates whatever object you are supposed to be holding or hitting.

The tech is crazy precise too. Researchers on the project boast that the frequency and strength of the air pulses can be modified to match the beating of a virtual butterfly's wings on a person's arm. A video demonstration shows someone playing a game of virtual volleyball, as well as several Aireals being used in conjunction to simulate a flock of seagulls flying by.

"As the technology matures, we envision that consumer electronic devices, as well as everyday environments, would have free-air haptic devices pre-installed and therefore become completely invisible to the users," project lead Rajinder Sodhi suggests.

Source: Disney Research via New Scientist

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I give it a week before someone finds a way to jack off with it.

Must...not...think...of...how...it...can...be...used...for...porn! >.<
Shit, too late. XD
Edit: Double shit, Souplex Ninja'd me. XD

OT: In all seriousness this sounds like some pretty sweet tech that's been developed by Disney. I would admit that this would make the Kinect actually interesting in my eyes.

Souplex:
I give it a week before someone finds a way to jack off with it.

hahahahahah! Oh man. I never even thought of that. If it can simulate "the beating of a virtual butterfly's wings on a person's arm", who knows what the sex industry could do with it? I would also find it hilarious to see a Disney developed technology being used for porn.

Steven Bogos:

Souplex:
I give it a week before someone finds a way to jack off with it.

hahahahahah! Oh man. I never even thought of that. If it can simulate "the beating of a virtual butterfly's wings on a person's arm", who knows what the sex industry could do with it? I would also find it hilarious to see a Disney developed technology being used for porn.

Is it bad that the first thing that entered my mind when I read and saw the video was not "oh this could be cool for games," but instead was "the use the porn industry could make with this tech could be astounding!" :D

Souplex:
I give it a week before someone finds a way to jack off with it.

...You do realize what kind of irony you just added to this, right?

I just hope they know what they're doing. People will think of crazy stuff with it and if there's a game in which you accidentally fall into a fire...well, I hope the gamer doesn't suffer and/or die from experiencing it.

Anyway, I totally like the technology used if done right. You could "create" your own superhero costume, pick out and "feel the texture" of the costume, and "enjoy" what it would feel like to be a superhero.

No one has made the obvious "blow" puns yet?

Idk why I assumed this tech would involve something more sophisticated that blowing compressed air. I guess I was expecting some kind of hard light that sent the appropriate approximations of electrical impulses through your skin as the object.

I'm sure its really fine tuned but it would take some kind of magic to make me NOT know its just blowing air on me, and I would probably just feel itchy.

But I would like to be proven wrong, because porn.

Dr.Awkward:

Souplex:
I give it a week before someone finds a way to jack off with it.

...You do realize what kind of irony you just added to this, right?

I theorized it could be used as a sex toy. There's a difference between theory and practice.
Somebody would probably have to program in a way for it to feel like sex organs, and that's why I gave it a week.

Souplex:
I give it a week before someone finds a way to jack off with it.

fleshlight upgrades to airlight XD

but really, getting your dick blown by air...worse inventions could be made :D

That moment when you've been ninja'd by every single comment. Anyway, this would certainly make an intersting combination with the Oculus Rift.

Why not just go outside and do the fucking thing you are simulating. Its like they are trying to make it super realistic, I just don't understand why not just do it in real life.

I'm sure that people won't use it to experience sex with fictional characters.

...

AH HAHAHAHA!

Kanova:
Why not just go outside and do the fucking thing you are simulating. Its like they are trying to make it super realistic, I just don't understand why not just do it in real life.

Yes, why not just go to a fantastical land where the landscape is pollution free and beautiful everywhere, why not just participate in an awesome large scale battle where the worst consequence is a mild stinging sensation before you restart.

Quite frankly if your idea of virtual reality is limited to things you could at any time go outside and do then you are thinking far too small of the future.

This is nothing, I played with Haptic Gloves at E3 in 2005 that could let you feel virtual objects right down from smooth, to rough, to even fur and solid physical objects. I want to know where this technology went! I always assumed it died out with VR and probably only use for medical training.

Yes, but you still can't realistically simulate the Occulus Rift guillotine.

In all seriousness, though, this is just another step towards the Holodeck. As for practical application, just imagine Silent Hill with this instead of a radio for telegraphing attacks. It would be awesome. Walking down an empty, foggy street, you feel something move behind your back, chills run down your spine and worse, you're out of ammo. It would scare the ever-living shit out of you.

This looks a little intrusive, doesn't it?
Just put four of these noisy, ugly air pumps around your tv; you won't even notice they're there!

AC10:
This looks a little intrusive, doesn't it?
Just put four of these noisy, ugly air pumps around your tv; you won't even notice they're there!

Because when a new technology is first presented, it's always shiny and white like an Apple product.

Neat technology but I don't think it will apply to games that well. Just think about it for a minute, games tend to be violent in nature. Even a non violent game like Wii Tennis still requires 'violent' forces. If you're going to simulate the feel of hitting a tennis ball with a racket, then you're going to be setting up numerous devices on your TV that can effectively punch you in the face.

I mean I think that would be awesome, but I have doubts as to how popular that would be too gamers as a whole! That's why their demo's show you butterfly and seagull wings flapping, keep it nice and safe and it will work.

Well that was the most over-presentation I've ever seen for a fan.

Steven Bogos:

AC10:
This looks a little intrusive, doesn't it?
Just put four of these noisy, ugly air pumps around your tv; you won't even notice they're there!

Because when a new technology is first presented, it's always shiny and white like an Apple product.

Because that's what I was implying.

There's not much you can do to quiet the physical pump, and electronic motors, while quiet, always make noise. There's product polish, and there is physics. Even if you put these in an attractive box, I don't want 4 attractive boxes on the corner of my TV. I don't want anything on the corners of my TV.

This kind of thing (much like cyborg limbs) will never make it to any kind of customer base.

Not at all.

Just like 10,000 computers never did (first Apple computers price).

1) It's too expensive. 2) It's too complex to go with a cheap gaming system. 3) It's probably dangerous, (compressed air).

But the big problem is always cost with these new 'wonder' machines. The designers seem to think they're going to provide the world with a wonderful new innovation, forgetting that people won't buy it if it's not under $500.

This is the world we live in, and why we don't have our fucking jet packs and flying cars yet. Techs there, culture (reliance on $) is not.

Interesting... but why did they mention "3D printed" so often in this presentation?
Is this supposed to sell 3D printer?

This may be just a baby seal step, but it's still a step towards creating a holodeck. Someone out there is thinking about it and working on it. That's good. Our decedents with holodecks will look back at the games of today and wonder how could we have ever thought that they were immersive.

Ishigami:
Interesting... but why did they mention "3D printed" so often in this presentation?
Is this supposed to sell 3D printer?

Why buy a 3D printer when you can simply print one?
http://reprap.org/wiki/Main_Page

Turner Shanks:

Kanova:
Why not just go outside and do the fucking thing you are simulating. Its like they are trying to make it super realistic, I just don't understand why not just do it in real life.

Yes, why not just go to a fantastical land where the landscape is pollution free and beautiful everywhere, why not just participate in an awesome large scale battle where the worst consequence is a mild stinging sensation before you restart.

Quite frankly if your idea of virtual reality is limited to things you could at any time go outside and do then you are thinking far too small of the future.

Right now I doubt that there will be many games like that. I figure that the majority of them will be stupid sports games or something not really worth it. They even use Wii tennis and some soccer game as examples of their new awesome technology.

I bet I'll be dead and gone by time they have a working, awesome game as the one you describe.

My first reaction was along the lines of "why bother?". Then I facepalmed at all the comments about virtual porn.

Not a lot of hope for us as a society, is there?

Apart from the porn jokes and hilarious comments... I realized something: Who'd risk using this technology for their game?

I know Disney will surely invest a lot to ensure their games work out with this device, but.. at the same time, I wonder if any gaming company would be interested. Heck, even Wii may not want this despite it's applied to physically interacting on a camera with your body. Who knows, this could be a big hit if used right.

... Or simply be used for the wrong reasons. People will experiment with things even if it's just... wrong. I'll leave it at that.

Kanova:
Why not just go outside and do the fucking thing you are simulating. Its like they are trying to make it super realistic, I just don't understand why not just do it in real life.

......have you ever heard of video games?

Neronium:

Steven Bogos:

Souplex:
I give it a week before someone finds a way to jack off with it.

hahahahahah! Oh man. I never even thought of that. If it can simulate "the beating of a virtual butterfly's wings on a person's arm", who knows what the sex industry could do with it? I would also find it hilarious to see a Disney developed technology being used for porn.

Is it bad that the first thing that entered my mind when I read and saw the video was not "oh this could be cool for games," but instead was "the use the porn industry could make with this tech could be astounding!" :D

Not really. Most new media technologies are usually proved to be useful in the porn industry.

TheKwertyeweyoppe:

Kanova:
Why not just go outside and do the fucking thing you are simulating. Its like they are trying to make it super realistic, I just don't understand why not just do it in real life.

......have you ever heard of video games?

Video games cause school shootings you silly.

Kanova:
Why not just go outside and do the fucking thing you are simulating. Its like they are trying to make it super realistic, I just don't understand why not just do it in real life.

You are right. I'm going to go out there into the real world and squeeze Scarlett Johansson's boobs right away!
Why didn't I think of this before? Thank you so much for that insight!

The worst thing would be making projected spiders crawl up your arm in a game.

Yes. Fucking yes.

It took a decade or two longer than people thought it would, but we're entering the Future Era portrayed by the media of the 60s to the 80s.

Lasers being made to phase out nukes, robots are getting better.

I can't wait until the day we can lie in chambers to play video games, where our own muscle movements, or intentions for movements, are interpreted realistically in games. MMORPGs will be SO AWESOME!

Holodecks here we come.

so, we have HD TV's, a new vr headset, omni-directional treadmills, Augmented reality glasses and now tech that lets you "Touch" Virtual objects, someone needs to combine these all into warehouse sized room, please and thank you.

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