Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Virtual 3D Technology Now Becomes 'Touchable'

 by Grant Andrews

A Japanese technology firm, Miraisens, has unveiled its advanced ‘touchable’ 3D device which operates through what is known as 3D-haptics technology. The device reportedly allows for virtual objects to be manipulated as though they were real.

Chief executive of Miraisens Natsuo Koda explains: “Touching is an important part of human communication, but until now virtual reality has lacked it. This technology will give you a sense that you can touch objects in the 3-D world.”

Norio Nakamura, who invented 3D-haptics technology, currently works as chief technical officer of the firm. He explains that the interface essentially fools the brain by creating a link between visual stimuli and vibrations created by a small fingertip device.

Virtual reality technology has been on the rise recently. The new ‘touchable’ interface comes on the heels of major advancements to virtual 3D devices, including the VR headset Oculus Rift which was purchased by Facebook earlier this year. Oculus Rift allows full rendering of 3D landscapes which can be explored and interacted with, and Facebook’s plans for the technology remain uncertain.

According to the firm, the new ‘touchable’ technology might be integrated into gaming systems, or could be useful in other technologies such as providing an interface for manipulating objects in 3D printing or for performing remote surgeries. The link of VR technology with Facebook might also allow for the possibility of creating vast virtual worlds which might be used as a new form of social media.

According to Miraisens officials, the technology will be available for retail in the near future.