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Touchable Holograms

Touchable holograms bring Star Trek’s Holodeck a tiny step closer.

Japanese researchers at ShinodaLab, Tokyo University, have presented their concept of Touchable Holography. Previously a hologram could only be viewed, not touched.

[ via PhysOrg ]
The researchers used two Wiimotes from Nintendo’s Wii gaming system to track a user’s hand and software manipulated the hologram based on the location of the hand vis-à-vis the hologram.

Practical applications could include a simple light switch, a virtual tap (used in hospitals to prevent infection due to contamination), virtual books, virtual keyboards andr other type of input systems à-la “Minority Report”.

The Holodeck would not be complete without the feeling of sensation. An in house-built technology consists of software that uses ultrasonic waves to create pressure on the hand of a user touching the projected hologram, e.g. to create the feeling of rain drops falling onto an open palm.

We would also need Intel’s vision of Claytronics (or Dynamic Physical Rendering) to become reality before we can even contemplate the Holodeck:

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