Researchers from the University of Pittsburgh and UPMC have developed a system that's enabling a man with quadriplegia to experience the sensation of touch through a robotic arm that he controls with his brain.
Tagged With haptics
You've got to hand it to Huawei. Just a week out from Apple's iPhone 6S launch, it's revealed the Mate S, which has almost certainly stolen a bit of the Apple phone's thunder by including its iOS rival's expected lead feature.
This has been a year of haptics: From the widespread use of it in consumer electronics through the Apple Watch, to the boom in development of touchable interfaces. Soon, an astronaut aboard the ISS will attempt a major haptic experiment — by controlling a super-precise robot here on Earth using force feedback from aboard the ISS.
I was sceptical. Two cubes sat side-by-side, looking like stripped-down 3D printers. I sat in front of one as instructed, and reached my hand inside, toward a floating disembodied finger. Just at the moment I knew I'd stab through the illusion, I had the ultimate "E.T. phone home" moment — I swear I could feel the other finger pressing on mine.
Each year, the People's Design Award honours a groundbreaking design that improves daily lives. Last year's winner, the Pack H20 Water Backpack, was a more efficient way for people to carry drinking water long distances. This year's nominees were just announced, and they include mushroom bricks, smart lighting, and multiple haptic wearables. Now, you can vote for your favourite.
For most, AT&T is simply seen as the company that delivers phone and internet and TV service to the US masses. But they also have a full-fledged R&D program, which spans multiple countries. Today they offered a glimpse into the fruits of those AT&T labs, with innovations ranging from clever to "OMG I WANT THIS NOW". Here are the three best things AT&T had to share.
For every five products that claim some kind of haptic feedback support, maybe one actually puts it to good use—like the URC MX-5000 touchscreen remote, which uses the technology to guide your fingers while they guide your TV.
Haptic technology has the possibility to make touchscreens so much better, improving accuracy and adding a whole new range of sensory feedback. Immersion, primary developers of haptic technology, presented both a refined onscreen keyboard and an incredibly cheesy "Immersive Messaging" protocol at this year's All Things D conference.
One look at the Novint Falcon controller can get anyone excited about the potential of haptic interfaces. OObject has put together a list of 12 such devices, offering a glimpse into our interactive future.
Here's the video of the Airborne Ultrasound Tactile Display, one of those technologies that will probably change entertainment forever: A high-fidelity 3D force field on the air that allows you to actually touch virtual objects with your bare hands. Initially, this technology could find its way into virtual keyboards, but in the future—as the size and resolution increases—there are endless possibilities. And with "endless possibilities" I really mean "virtual sex." Don't believe me? See what the developer has to say about it:
Researchers at the University of Tokyo have demonstrated a device that can create touchable, creepily invisible floating "objects" using focused ultrasound waves. Though the technology is early testing stages, its designers have already expressed an interest in weaponi- I mean, commercialising it for possible use in gaming and design applications. For now, the team has only been able to simulate resistance in one direction, but say that forming complex shapes and textures is plausible.
Cowon's upcoming P5 will improve on their A3 and Q5W portable media players (which we've both reviewed) with the addition of a haptics touch-feedback feature. The rest is fairly similar: a 800x480 screen, FM radio, stereo Bluetooth, TV-out, stereo speakers, USB, extreme codec support and 40GB-80GB sizes. There will still be Wi-Fi, but you'll have to get it tacked on after the fact with a dongle. The Korean price is US$430ish by the end of the month. No US info yet as far as we know. Maybe we can trade them an early sneak peek at Starcraft 3 for this?
Modder and frequent terminal user Matt was getting mighty tired of his piercing PC speaker going off with every typo, so he rigged up a nifty DIY haptics setup using a Microsoft keyboard and an old mobile phone vibrator triggered by the scroll lock LED. Unless you're playing Oregon Trail in your elementary school's computer lab 15 years ago, you probably haven't heard your PC speaker in a long while, but if you're frequently using the terminal (especially under Linux) for command line tasks, this is the mod for you.
Among the rush of Apple patents relating to touchscreens over the last year came one on tactile feedback touchscreens, and Nokia seems to have been thinking along the same lines. Almost exactly the same lines, since Nokia's Haptikos tech is a system of fluid-cells driven by piezoelectric actuators that push up through a flexible touchscreen. And that sounds a lot like Apple's sub-surface, adjustable tactile "keys." But apparently the Nokia tech is aimed at "variable and controllable user perceived surface roughness or friction coefficient" rather than buttons. Fascinating stuff, nevertheless.
The Boy Genius Report has a first look at Motorola's answer to the "Touch Screen Wars," called the Blaze. From the looks of the branding, this touchy-feely handset is coming to Verizon, complete with a special Verizon-only operating system. BGR says the touch screen is decent, and the mobile browser is "OK," but nothing to write home about. Email and texting functionality are also lambasted by BGR, as is the crush-the-screen-to-make-it-work haptic touchscreen feedback. Specs include a 2 megapixel camera, EV-DO Rev. A support, GPS, and Bluetooth. They didn't sound too keen on the Blaze, but they didn't write it off completely. Thoughts?
Roboticist Steve Yohanan thinks there's something missing from the design of many robots: the human touch. By omitting the touch sensation from robotic design, Steve thinks that scientists and engineers are missing out on an important machine-human interaction, capable of communicating emotions. So he's designed and built Haptic Creature, a furry robotic research bunny with touch feedback as its only way of communicating.
Remember when it was cool to joke about how the vibrating Wii remote looked, felt and behaved pretty much like a vibrator? No? Well, too bad, because it turns out that the two were more similar than the light-hearted humour suggested. In fact, both tools of pleasure employ technology built from a patent from the same company, Immersion.