If you are a fan of Star Trek, then you must be aware about the haptic hologram technology which was introduced by the sci-fi series over 20 years back. Well, things have become a bit more real as Ultrahaptics, an English firm, has managed to use ultrasonic technology for delivering haptic feedback which creates holographic imagery.
For those of you who have never watched Star Trek, you would still be aware of the holographic technology which forms an essential part of almost every sci-fi concept. As a kid, you must have imagined using a holographic image and manipulating it just like it is done in the movies. The haptic holography may be in its nascent stage, but it has managed to achieve a feat that was considered nearly impossible at the time Star Trek popularized the concept.
How Does Haptic Holography Work?
This technology basically allows you to feel without actually touching something. The underlying driving force behind this technology is the use of ultrasound which projects sensations in the air. In the movies, it is shown that some intermediary gadget or media is required to interact with the holographic image. However, the real life technology is much more sophisticated and does not require any intermediary media to experience the “sensation”.
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Not everyone knows about it, but this technology was originally developed in University of Bristol. Further developers have made this technology even more sophisticated, to the point that the developers claim that the technology is capable of delivering different haptic feedback and virtually tactile shapes. These changes are brought about by changing the modulation frequency or modifying the feedback of the ultrasonic wave.
Potential Application of Haptic Holography
The haptic holography technology has immense scope and potential in terms of application. The most obvious application that comes to mind is in virtual reality gaming as well as simulations. This technology would add a whole new dimension to the user experience and with further developments, it could change the way we interact with gadgets today. By adding a sense of touch, sight and sound, it would become feasible for the user to completely immerse in virtual reality.
If the technology reaches a level where the virtual objects may be felt, then just imagine the range of applications that the technology would be used for. Doctors would be able to examine and feel tumours or lumps that show up in scans. Scholars would be able to handle priceless exhibits without touching the actual object. This would eliminate any risk that would have otherwise been applicable when handling the delicate objects.
While the commercial application of this technology would take a long time to surface, the basic technology does exist today. It would be up to our future generations to take things to a whole new level and make sci-fi a very real phenomenon.
Check out the following video for a glimpse of the immense potential and capabilities of haptic holography.
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