Highlights from the 2015 Geneva Motor Show

Haptics

The Proverbial Wallets provide haptic feedback for your digital transactions

The widespread adoption of credit and debit cards means, for many people, the cashless society is already a reality. However, this means the simple system of checking how much cash you’ve got in your wallet before making a purchase is no longer an accurate reflection of your finances, making it all too easy to succumb to temptation and overextend yourself financially. The Proverbial Wallet project at MIT is looking at “un-abstracting virtual assets” with wallets that provide tactile feedback that reflects a person’s current financial state.  Read More

The Sofie force-feedback surgical robot  (Photo: Bart van Overbeeke)

Robot-assisted surgery has a number of advantages over traditional surgery – it’s steadier, more precise, less invasive, plus the surgeon doesn’t even have to be in the same room (or continent) as the patient. One of its drawbacks, however, is the fact that surgeons can’t feel any of the resistance put up by the patients’ tissues – essentially, the controls provide no sense of touch. To address this problem, Linda van den Bedem from Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e) has created a prototype surgical robot that does provide tactile feedback, and its name is Sofie... or Surgeon’s Operating Force-feedback Interface Eindhoven.  Read More

Toshiba's Libretto w100 incorporates Immersion's haptic effects

Are you the sort of person who loves touch screen technology but yearns for the mechanical feel and security of a real keyboard? You may be interested to hear that Toshiba’s Libretto w100 dual touch-screen mini notebook will be the first device to hit the market that incorporates Immersion Corporation’s TouchSense 2500 solution that provides touch feedback effects when hitting keys. The haptic effects help to minimize the chance of mis-keying, provide immediate tactile response and allow you to get all touchy and feely at the same time.  Read More

Greg Dawe demonstrates the HUVR device that lets users see and 'feel' 3D images

It’s not uncommon to see children attempt to reach out and touch objects the first time they don 3D glasses and sit down in front of a 3D TV. Researchers at the University of California, San Diego, have created a new virtual reality device that enables users to do just that. The relatively low-cost device called the Heads-Up Virtual Reality device (HUVR) combines a consumer 3D HDTV panel and a touch-feedback (haptic) device to enable users not only to see a 3D image, but “feel” it too.  Read More

A medical student from Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center is shown testing the new hapti...

Laparoscopic gastric banding is a common surgical treatment for morbid obesity and the most critical factor in the success of the operation lies in the hands of the surgeon - who needs the proficiency and skill to insert slender, handheld tools into the body of the patient. A team of interdisciplinary researchers, led by Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, has recently won a US$2.3 million federal grant to develop a touch-sensitive virtual reality simulator that will realistically replicate how performing a gastric band operation feels - making it ideal for developing and teaching fundamental surgical skills and for assessing physicians wanting to be certified as a laparoscopic surgeon.  Read More

Clothing incorporating Wearable Absence technology

You’ve had a hard day at the office, your spouse is currently over 2,000 miles away and now your boss says he wants you to work late. It’s all you can do to contain your anger until you get into the bathroom, whereupon you let loose with a string of red-faced, high-cardio profanity. At that point, your spouse talks to you via your shirt. “Take it easy, it’s all right,” they coo from your collar, as they play your favorite song, and photos of them scroll across your chest. Hey, it could happen. No, really, it could happen, thanks to the Wearable Absence project. Researchers involved in the program are working on developing intelligent textiles, that comfort the wearer by evoking memories of absent loved ones.  Read More

The 3rd Space FPS Gaming Vest uses pneumatic air pockets to simulate physical blows when g...

Seeing as we recently told you about the stunningly-goofy HaptiHug, which allows you to receive the physical sensation of a hug via your computer, here’s a similar but much more macho product – the 3rd Space FPS Gaming Vest. With its game-activated internal pneumatic pockets, the FPS has no interest in hugging you, but it will gladly simulate a gunshot to your torso.  Read More

You, too, could look this cool.

Think you spend too much time online these days? It's only going to get worse as mobile and virtual reality technology gets us connected more often, more inextricably and to the detriment of our 'real world' social lives. Which is why researchers like the guys at Tachi Labs are starting to work on how to break down the benefits of physical human interaction and see how they can be replicated in a virtual world. It's early days yet, so the HaptiHug interface and the rest of the iFeel_IM! Affective Haptics suite are painfully awkward and dorky, but this could be a glimpse into the kinds of technologies that can satisfy some of our needs for physical contact and help keep us sane as more and more of our lives go digital.  Read More

The AcceleGlove, easy to put on and use

After years in the making, the AcceleGlove open source data glove is now available for purchase. Originally designed for use as an automated American Sign Language (ASL) interpreter, the AcceleGlove can also be used for a host of other applications thanks to its open source Software Development Kit (SDK). Developers and hobbyists alike can adapt the glove for use in assistive technology, rehabilitation, robotics, video gaming, virtual reality or a computing input device to name a few.  Read More

Transparent touchpad - LG-GD900

The LG-GD900 mobile phone will feature not only a 3-inch full touchscreen, but also a transparent touchpad that supports finger-writing recognition and vibrational haptic feedback. The stylish looking phone features a slider form factor with the translucent rear slider containing a touchpad that allows users to navigate through the phones features and 3D user interface. Further enhancing the phone’s style cred is the fact that the clear slider will be made from glass instead of plastic.  Read More

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