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Getting in-touch with virtual reality via soundwaves


Getting in-touch with virtual reality via soundwaves

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What if you could actually change sound levels in a night club without touching any buttons?

British company Ultrahaptics has developed a technology that uses ultrasound to allow people to ‘feel’ and interact with 3D virtual objects by projecting them through the air directly onto the hands.

Researchers say it works by applying the principles of acoustic radiation force – whereby sound waves produce strong tactile sensations.

Professor Sriram Subramanian, co-developer of the project explained more: “If you go to a night club or a rock concert, you feel the music in your chest. And it’s the same principal – you feel the sound vibrating your chest.”

“Instead of using the bass sounds, what we use is low frequency ultrasound – about 40 kHz – and that way we can target it at a precise point on your finger tip or on your palm, and then you feel the palm vibrate and it feels precise as well.”

Although the technology is still in the prototype stage, researchers believe it has a diverse range of potential real world applications; from touchable interactive holograms, immersive virtual reality that you can feel and complex touchable controls in mid-air.

“There is a tendency towards doing things touch-less. One of the advantages of having a touch-less system is that the interaction comes to you; instead of going and touching the light switch, you just wave your hand and the light comes on,” added Subramanian

The company plans to licence the technology to a diverse array of markets including consumer electronics, home appliances and the automotive industry.

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