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Haptics

Electronics

Ultrasound makes for palm-based computer displays you can feel

From buzzing phones to quivering console controllers, haptic feedback has become indispensable in modern computing, and developers are already wondering how it will be felt in systems of the future. Sending ultrasound waves through the back of the hand to deliver tactile sensations to the front might sound a little far-fetched, but by achieving just that UK scientists claim to have cleared the way for computers that use our palms as advanced interactive displays.Read More

Wearables

Underwater haptic feedback glove gives users "dolphin power"

Rescue workers searching flood sites have a unique challenge – they need to know what's under the water, but invariably that water is going to be very murky. Well, that's the main scenario for which the IrukaTact was created. It's a submersible haptic feedback glove that lets users "feel" what's below the surface, without having to dive down to actually touch it.Read More

Pets

High-tech harness lets the blind check on their guide dogs

Humans communicate primarily in a verbal manner, while dogs rely more on visual cues. While this can make communication between the two species challenging at the best of times, it's particularly difficult when the human is unable to see the dog – as is the case with blind people and their guide dogs. As a result, it may not always be possible for owners to know when their guide dogs are stressed. An experimental new harness, however, may be able to help.Read More

Space

First ISS to Earth "handshake" demonstrates space-to-ground remote control

NASA astronaut Terry Virts, aboard the International Space Station (ISS), and ESA telerobotics specialist André Schiele, in the Netherlands, made space history this week with the first telerobotic "handshake" between space and Earth. Using special force feedback joysticks that acquire force data and create the sensation of pressure, Virts and Schiele brought the agencies closer to allowing astronauts in remote locations to naturally and safely control robotic devices and perform potentially dangerous or otherwise impossible tasks.Read More

VR

Hands Omni haptic glove lets gamers feel virtual objects

While virtual reality has progressed leaps and bounds in the past few years, with motion-based inputs and a plethora of promising VR headsets close on the horizon, our ability to actually feel what we see in virtual worlds remains limited – especially in the consumer space. But a team of engineering students at Rice University is trying to solve this problem with a haptic glove that lets you feel virtual objects and environments like they're actually there.Read More

Games

Google Play launches an "Enhanced Gameplay" collection highlighting haptic feedback games

Games on Android phones are about to add a new dimension of gameplay. A San Jose, CA company called Immersion has created a way to add a layer of touch to your favorite mobile games, making it feel as though you’re actually there. Through haptic feedback, the company can recreate the feeling of rain or a ball bouncing around on the screen, and even mimic how it feels to drive a car around the track.Read More

Robotics

Future firefighters may be guided by "robots on reins"

When firefighters need to enter smoke-filled buildings to conduct search or rescue, they frequently suffer from low visibility and often need to feel their way along walls or follow ropes reeled out by the lead firefighter. With a limited supply of oxygen carried by each firefighter, being slowed by the inability to see can severely limit their capacity to carry out duties in these environments. Now researchers from King’s College London and Sheffield Hallam University have developed a robot assistant for firefighters that can help guide them through even the thickest smoke.Read More

VR Feature

Haptic technology: The next frontier in video games, wearables, virtual reality, and mobile electronics

Tactile feedback is nothing new. It's been used in telecommunications and in entertainment for decades, and it became a standard feature in the late 1990s in mobile phones and video games – where vibrations alert you to new messages or help you "feel" the forces exerted on your avatar. Haptic technology has been very much a bit player in the fields that it's infiltrated, though, and only now are we seeing it begin to take its place alongside visual and audio tech as a key element in human-computer interaction.Read More

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