Joined: 11 Apr 2005
|Posted: Mon Jul 02, 2007 12:16 pm Post subject: Tangible display makes 3D images touchable
Tangible display makes 3D images touchable
A system that makes three dimensional images solid enough to grasp has been unveiled by Japanese firm NTT. It could let businesspeople shake hands from across the globe or allow museum visitors to feel precious exhibits that are normally out of reach, the company says.
The prototype Tangible 3D system combines a 3D display with a "haptic glove". The display creates lifelike images appear in just in front of a flat screen. It creates the illusion of depth by showing slightly different images to each of the viewer's eyes. This means no special glasses are needed.
Attached to the display is a haptic glove. Once inside, a user's hand is touched by numerous force-feedback components to make it feel as if it interacting with something solid.
The system can also translate real-world objects into virtual representations. Two cameras image the items in 3D so that they can be displayed on the screen. A connected computer then processes the 3D image to generate a tactile representation of the object.
This set up means that if the object being filmed is moved, the three-dimensional image also moves in real-time and the user will feel the movement with their hand.
NTT engineer Shiro Ozawa, who developed the system, envisages various applications. "You would be able to take the hand, or gently pat the head, of your beloved grandchild who lives far away from you," he says.
Anthony Steed, who works with haptic systems at University College London, UK, says the real-time image capture made possible by the Tangible 3D system is especially interesting.