Friday, July 23, 2010

Touchable Holograms Made Available by Wii Remotes

Leave it to Japan! Researchers at Tokyo University have created the first touchable holograms. That's right, touchable. Your wild dreams of fondling Princess Leia's hologram are now coming true.

What makes it pretty astounding is that the researchers are using a pair of Wii Remotes to get this thing off the ground, which are tracking your hand movements. Using ultrasonic waves in junction with the Wiimotes, the waves give a sense of force feedback, which create the pressure necessary to imitate the sense of touch with whatever objects you so desire to touch.

So far, it's only been successful with smaller objects (think ping-pong balls), but the developers have bigger things in mind. Hospitals are the big draw, as they can eliminate the need of the patient-doctor interactions (or, as the report calls it, "touch contamination"...I'm just as weirded out as you are). Other uses see it in as a replacement for books (so long, iPad!), or the end to product refreshes, as the interface can be changed with a simple firmware update.

Color me intrigued, but it doesn't seem like touchable holograms could replace every bit of physical tech around us. It does seem to give Apple a run for their money as they have a hell of a time trying to get you buy new products once something like this hits. Well, they could try selling you new hologram projectors once every year, but good luck with that, guys.

[Via YouTube via New Tang Dynasty Television]