The BBC’s Haptic Weather Forecast Machine Lets You Feel The Weather

Image: BBC

The BBC has cooked up a new way to deliver the weather forecast using haptic technology – although it’s only an internal prototype right now, so don’t get too excited.

Working with Ultraleap ” self-proclaimed world leaders in tracking and haptics ” the BBC has developed a snazzy machine that lets you feel the sensation of wind, rain, snow, etc when you stick your hand into it. The device uses ultrasound waves to project the sensations onto the user’s hand, while the tracking technology zeroes in on when there’s a hand underneath it, and tracks the position of said hand as it moves around beneath the machine which enable it to create a more precise sensation of touch.

The device contains 256 small ultrasound speakers on its underside as well as hand tracker to pull off this feat, and is paired with “3D holographic type animated images” of weather forecast symbols to create a more immersive experience.

As well as opening up the possibilities for delivering a variety of content in fresh, new ways, this technology also has the potential to improve accessibility – for the visually or hearing impaired, for example. Haptic tech is commonplace in a range of devices and this way of harnessing it – without the need to be physically holding a device – seems like the next logical step.


This post originally appeared on Gizmodo UK, which is gobbling up the news in a different timezone.