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Researchers Create Mid-Air Haptic Feedback System For Touch Displays

Unknown Lamer posted about a year ago | from the annoys-small-animals dept.

Input Devices 62

Bismillah writes "University of Bristol researchers have come up with a way to make touch screens more touchy-feely so to speak, using ultrasound waves to produce haptic feedback. You don't need to touch the screen even, as the UltraHaptics waves can be felt mid-air. Very Minority Report, but cooler." The researchers built an ultrasonic transducer grid behind an acoustically transparent display. Using acoustic modeling of a volume above the screen, they can create multiple movable control points with varying properties. A Leap Motion controller was used to detect the hand movements.

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Butts (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45065911)

Dicks and butts.

Niggers Are Not Equal! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45065929)

hee hee what a bunch of niggers dumbass jigaboos what a bunch of coons haa haa stupid bunch of nigjigs laa laa dumb ass tribal speakchuckers!! you say african american i say nigger american whats the difference? theyre both niggers you dumb cunt!! dumb stupid civilization destroying welfare eating bastardchildfactory primitive gangstatribal bunch of criminal breeding NIGGERS yeah! that's what they are uh huh.

even libtardbedwetters wouldnt visit a black ghetto they know how violent niggers are! no matter how not-racist the libtard is!! hahahaha you preach something but you cant live the way you preach you niggerloving libtards,yeah thats right pretend to be the niggers friend to get his nigger vote you niggerlover but dont ever live with niggers because you wouldnt like that! hahaa hahahaa bunch of PC nigger lovers wow only nigger lovers like them are even worse than niggers who steal your car and smoke crack!

niggers think being a thug is cool what a bunch of niggers! niggers beat up black kids that study because they act white, what a bunch of dumb niggers! hey why dont the niggers just work hard to keep other niggers dumb, oh wait thats what they do!! dumb fucking niggers! hey why dont the niggers just try real hard to keep more niggers in prison than niggers in college at any given time? oh wait thats what they do!! dumb fucking niggers! hey why dont the niggers hurt and kill each other till black on black crime is much higher than white on black crime everwas? oh wait thats what they do!! dumb fucking niggers! hey niggers why dont they always defend niggers who fuck up and do stupid shit just because they are fellow niggers like treyvon? oh wait thats wha they do, he's a nigger youre a nigger so you niggers act like niggers!! dumb fucking niggers!

hey why dont niggers get nigger slashdot accounts like a great big bunch of niggers and mod shit like this down because niggers dont wanna hear what a big nigger every nigger really is so they mod it down and hope it goes away!! oh wait thats wha they do!! hahahaha mod the truth down niggers then you forget the truth and what do you end up with? niggertruth! oh wait thats what they do!!

wow niggers are too stupid even niggers think niggers are stupid, dumb niggers! hahahaha nigger nigger nigger yes read it and weep you niggers and you nigger lovers hahaaha yeah he said NIGGER do you get upset when somebody says NIGGER? unless you know theyre black then its ok to say NIGGER? how do you know im not black you NIGGER? you dont you fucking nigger! you just assume i must not be black because you stereotype what races are and what they do and you think you fucking know everything! you don't! you know less than a nigger!! what if I am black and say NIGGER then what you NIGGER! didn't niggers wait so long for the freedom to say NIGGER on the internet? didn't think of that NIGGER did you NIGGER?! yeah. you NIGGER!

Re:Niggers Are Not Equal! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45075367)

Lame, kid. You've got to learn to troll better. This was just a bunch of random shit. You need to keep your audience captivated until near the end of the troll. Niggaa

Obvious post (3, Interesting)

narcc (412956) | about a year ago | (#45065969)

Is this the future of porn?

Re:Obvious post (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45066075)

With the way this works through ultrasonic focal points, it makes me wonder if it could be used for... internal haptic stimulation. Hopefully we don't see a trend of people cranking the juice up too high and accidentally microwaving their prostates.

Re:Obvious post (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45066103)

The shot of the video does look like he's tweaking a nipple.

Re:Obvious post (1)

Black Parrot (19622) | about a year ago | (#45066149)

Is this the future of porn?

Don't call it porn, call it virtual sex.

Re:Obvious post (2)

roland_mai (852416) | about a year ago | (#45067663)

First thing that crossed my mind as well. Especially the way he was grabbing that tiny nob. :) Blinkin form Robinhood Man in Tights is going to be so happy.

Re:Obvious post (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45068589)

First thing that crossed my mind as well. Especially the way he was grabbing that tiny nob. :)

Thanks for sharing the fact that you have a tiny knob with us.

We all really appreciate it.

Re:Obvious post (1)

lebjoot (560242) | about a year ago | (#45094395)

No. this is the next convert airZooka. Enjoy the annoyance.

I, for one... (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about a year ago | (#45065977)

Systems like this, and that super-creepy "modulated ultrasound [wikipedia.org] " stuff, make me glad that I'm not stuck on the IRB that has to shoot down all the neat delusion-disorder related research that would be totally unethical to do with hardware like this...

James Tilly Matthews would be proud!

Re:I, for one... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45066031)

So, is this what they used for the touchable holograms [u-tokyo.ac.jp] in SIGGRAPH 2009? Old news or improved since then?

Re:I, for one... (1)

master5o1 (1068594) | about a year ago | (#45066451)

International Rugby Board?

The best thing about living in the future... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45065993)

People finally stop comparing every single fucking gestural control system to a movie from 2002

Blind (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45065995)

This sounds great for blind people. It even works for deaf people too, and can be designed very similar to existing 2d UIs, so there is little difficulty porting UIs to support it. The whole 3D support it just an extra bonus.

Just because... (0)

bmo (77928) | about a year ago | (#45066025)

...it was in a movie, doesn't mean it's a good idea.

So instead of actually touching something, we're supposed to be manipulating our hands out in space, accurately, with nothing to rest them on, like playing a Theremin all day. A Theremin is a box with an antenna. You wave your hands and make "space sounds" - the music you heard in all those 1950s science-fiction movies. Ever play one? They are effin' difficult, because you're just waving your hands in the air using your muscle memory as reference points for tones only. Anyone who is good at playing a Theremin is a musical instrument genius.

And we want to bring this to computer interfaces?

What drugs are you on? You need to either decrease or increase the dose, because whatever it is, it's wrong.

--
BMO

Re:Just because... (4, Informative)

OzPeter (195038) | about a year ago | (#45066055)

A Theremin is a box with an antenna. You wave your hands and make "space sounds" - the music you heard in all those 1950s science-fiction movies. Ever play one? They are effin' difficult, because you're just waving your hands in the air using your muscle memory as reference points for tones only. Anyone who is good at playing a Theremin is a musical instrument genius.

Um .. did you even watch the video?? They are using phased ultrasonics to create tactile points in space - no muscle memory needed.

Re:Just because... (1)

Herder Of Code (2989779) | about a year ago | (#45066115)

Well, in minority report, you had an hologram in mid air. It's pretty neat because now a 3d projection would have tactile feedback, which I suppose is really the point of such a system.

Re:Just because... (1)

Gerzel (240421) | about a year ago | (#45066671)

Yeah but you don't need muscle memory to find the control points as that IS the point of haptic feedback. You FEEL where the control points are which means it is also a display that you can feel which makes it good for those who can't see.

Re:Just because... (1)

mhajicek (1582795) | about a year ago | (#45070473)

And the main advantage over a physical interface is that it can be configured on the fly.

Finally people will stop complaining. (4, Insightful)

mosb1000 (710161) | about a year ago | (#45066087)

On-screen keyboards will finally get tactile feedback.

Re:Finally people will stop complaining. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45066221)

This. Mod parent up.

Re:Finally people will stop complaining. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45066609)

Only if you're hovering your hands 20cm over the keyboard.

Re:Finally people will stop complaining. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45067689)

Bah. There was a time when the keyboard gave electric shocks and everyone called it poor grounding, instead of feature.

Re:Finally people will stop complaining. (1)

ByteSlicer (735276) | about a year ago | (#45068253)

Instead they will complain about the haptics sucking the life out of their batteries...

A more interesting application (2)

JanneM (7445) | about a year ago | (#45066113)

Creating feedback points in space is cool of course, and will have a lot of uses. But I suspect the highest impact will be when applying a simpler version to ordinary 2D touch screens, and only at the screen surface.

We could finally have screen keyboards and games where you can find the buttons with your fingers, and where they actually give tactile feedback as you press them. Might be able to define surface textures for elements on screen, again making it much easier to use your phone or tablet without having to look at the screen at all times.

Animals (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45066147)

Animals are really going to hate the future with us 'polluting' the world with non-natural sources of IR, ultrasound, magnetics, light, and other frequencies as well as non-reflective glass.

Re:Animals (1)

Freshly Exhumed (105597) | about a year ago | (#45066227)

Often the only difference between natural and human-created types of radiation is that the artificial stuff is modulated to achieve a particular behaviour or characteristic amidst the din of natural "noise". So, addressing your comment: assuming that animals will also hate a future full of all the pre-existing, natural sources of IR, ultrasound, magnetics, light, and other frequencies that already may be doing them harm, there won't be much difference.

Re:Animals (1)

drkim (1559875) | about a year ago | (#45067271)

Animals are really going to hate the future with us 'polluting' the world with non-natural sources...

Why would they automatically 'hate' it? I've seen lots of dogs who LOVE non-natural Frisbees, cats who LOVE non-natural LASER spots.

I can't wait to see the first "cute kitty" YouTube video of a cat playing with the tactile feedback in mid-air.

Re:Animals (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45068639)

Cats can hear all the way up to 64kHz while dogs can hear to 45kHz. I don't think they would be too happy if these ultrasonic is within their hearing range especially if huge power is involved for haptic feedback. I hope they don't ended up like whales suffering from sonars.

http://www.lsu.edu/deafness/HearingRange.html

Re:Animals (1)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about a year ago | (#45069393)

A lot of humans already suffer from these ear-rapping subwoofers that can be heard from miles away.

Re:Animals (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45075433)

Get rid of the niggers and wiggers, and problem will be solved.

Consumer Safety benefit (2)

Freshly Exhumed (105597) | about a year ago | (#45066151)

The "Minority Report" airborne desktop may seem the coolest future use, but it is only one potential future. The potential benefit to consumers may be biggest on new control devices that reduce or eliminate hazards of burning, electrocution, scalding, etc. caused previously by direct handling of items by clumsier, manual means. To me this risk reduction capability is far more likely, and far more beneficial, than what was seen on Minority Report.

I must have watched too much Kim Possible (1)

Voyager529 (1363959) | about a year ago | (#45066187)

When I read

ultrasonic transducer grid

, my first thought was that it was a doomsday weapon created by Doctor Drakken.

Re:I must have watched too much Kim Possible (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45068417)

My first thought was Dr Frankenfurter, as in "Fire up the..."

oh neat (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45066239)

i'm lazy so i'll stick with the mouse kthx

Hopefully they chose mercifully... (2)

Tetetrasaurus (1859006) | about a year ago | (#45066287)

... to use frequencies over a few hundred kilohertz, to spare the bats, bugs, and dogs. Couldn't find that in the article.

Will it kill my dog? (3, Interesting)

Shavano (2541114) | about a year ago | (#45066293)

We're talking sound pressure levels high enough that you can feel the modulation with your fingers. Is this safe?

And how much power does it take to make pressure that's useful for tactile feedback at a distance?

Re:Will it kill my dog? (1)

jamesh (87723) | about a year ago | (#45066667)

We're talking sound pressure levels high enough that you can feel the modulation with your fingers. Is this safe?

And how much power does it take to make pressure that's useful for tactile feedback at a distance?

You might be on to something here. A device that can deter that fucking dog that has scared my kids enough that they won't walk down the street anymore would be a great idea.

I don't want to kill a dog, as such, but if it was afraid to wander the streets alone then I think the world would be a better place.

Re:Will it kill my dog? (1)

phorm (591458) | about a year ago | (#45071215)

... it could be fun for messing with people. They've already got the ability to project sounds over distance with some accuracy

[can you hear me] whispered in your ear while something appears to touch your hair... Halloween could be a lot of fun.

virtual 3D objects (1)

Zibodiz (2160038) | about a year ago | (#45066313)

This would be awesome with a [not-yet-possible] video hologram. Imagine a hologram you can touch; very sci-fi.

Humidity will play hell with this (4, Interesting)

fragMasterFlash (989911) | about a year ago | (#45066405)

The speed of sound is relative to the density of the media it is traversing. All Ultrasonic transmit beamforming algorithms must take media density into consideration to achieve reasonable convergence. Unless this device is performing adaptive beamforming or has a very precise humidity sensor its functionality will be spotty at best, and even if it does the inventors just stepped into a shiatstorm of patents held by the companies that have been forming medical imaging IP warchests over the past 15 - 20 years. Good luck and godspeed.

Re:Humidity will play hell with this (1)

chihowa (366380) | about a year ago | (#45074097)

At 20C, the change in the velocity of sound varies from 343.38 m/s (at 1% RH) to 344.6 m/s (at 99% RH). This super-cheap RH sensor [sensirion.com] is accurate to 1.8% RH and more accurate sensors are available. So, RH is not a real problem.

Besides RH, the only thing that will significantly affect the density of the air will be temperature or strong air currents.. Temperature will be relatively constant throughout the room, especially within 20 cm of the apparatus. Small variations in temperature will occur directly adjacent to the user's hands, but by that point a change at the array won't change the beam too much. These temperature differences can be accounted for, too, using the temperature of the room and the location of the hands (which are both known). That leaves air currents, which could end up being the biggest problem.

Overall, the problems aren't that big, as noted by their functional prototype.

Minority Report (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45066917)

Eventually a mid-air display like in the movie Minority Report will be possible,

As for the virtual sex/porn aspect mentioned previously: Combine this system with AIREAL and you are well on your way.

Force field? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45067039)

Exactly how much sensation can this thing generate? Is it possible that this technology may eventually be adapted into a type of 'force field'?

Re:Force field? (1)

mhajicek (1582795) | about a year ago | (#45070529)

Small, lightweight objects have been levitated.

Re:Force field? (1)

iggymanz (596061) | about a year ago | (#45072135)

forget the force field, can this technology be scaled to give the exact feel of parts of the human body. it is time once again for the porn industry to step up and drive forward the technology of the multimedia experience.

Kinect (1)

findoutmoretoday (1475299) | about a year ago | (#45067335)

Some sort of low precision kinect alternative?

With enough refinement (1)

PsyMan (2702529) | about a year ago | (#45067491)

and a boost in power, could it create some kind of sonic tool? Spanner, hammer or even a screwdriver?

Re: With enough refinement (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45069237)

Not so subtle Whovian reference.

Internet Crackpots (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45068193)

Cool idea, I can imagine internet crackpots saying the sound waves are damaging to (your pick) dog's hearing, cat's hearing, house plants or sitting the device on a male's lap causes him to be sterile. Even the crackpot NSA conspiracy theory that the sound waves can read what you have touched. No way to prove or dis-prove so crackpot heaven.

I'm sorry, but... (1)

TheVelvetFlamebait (986083) | about a year ago | (#45068351)

... did anyone else just nerdgasm? I mean, I know, given the way we interface with any electronics these days, it's going to be difficult to find applications for this stuff, at least initially. But, with technology like this, I doubt it will us long to find some use for it so that, in 20 years, we'll wonder how we did without it.

Kudos to the university of Bristol for developing such an exciting and original idea.

Re:I'm sorry, but... (1)

sabbede (2678435) | about a year ago | (#45068841)

I did.

And it was messy.

FInally! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45068443)

From here it is surely just a small step to a device that can punch people in the face over IP.

Re: FInally! (1)

SpaceCracker (939922) | about a year ago | (#45070083)

... or as a Service.

Thumbing phone (1)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about a year ago | (#45068959)

Pretty cool, where's my brain interface? I want to move less than with a mouse. Waving my hands or arms about is going the wrong way.

Its called the LEAP MOTION. (0)

crovira (10242) | about a year ago | (#45069027)

I've got one. Its pretty good too. Specially for the $70 or $80 that it cost me.

There's no story here. There's no research project either.

Re:Its called the LEAP MOTION. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45069289)

This has nothing to do with that overpriced IR camera. This is about feedback, not sensing. Even in the most optimistic Leap Motion commercials, they never implied that it could provide a tactile response as you wave your fingers around.

So please, take at least the time to read the headline, even if you will not read the summary or the article.

How do you find the point in mid air? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45070365)

You can't see it, and I get the feeling the testers kind of knew where it was. I'm serious when I say this is missing holograms. :/

But still a nice step.

Trademarked (1)

MyDirtIsRed (2882529) | about a year ago | (#45070741)

I hear they're naming it the Focused Ultrasound Coronal Kinetics-Enabled Display.

Sounds like a winner.

Required (for me) Rocky Horror Reference (2)

sckienle (588934) | about a year ago | (#45070833)

I know I'm showing my age here, but I can't see the term "sonic transducer" with out a Rocky Horror Picture Show flashback: This sonic transducer, it is I suppose some kind of audio-vibratory-physio-molecular transport device?

What frecuencies are used? (1)

sapgau (413511) | about a year ago | (#45073853)

If it will hurt my beloved pet ears then no thanks.
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