Haptic radar system has got your back

Researchers in the Department of Information Physics and Computing at the University of Tokyo have developed a wearable haptic radar system designed to provide augmented spatial awareness -- such as the ability to avoid the type of surprise nerf ball attack seen here. It essentially works like a giant set of virtual whiskers, or antennas, providing a tactile sensation to the wearer when an object comes within range -- the closer it gets, the more intense the vibrations. While it still has a long ways to go before you can get your own Luke Skywalker groove on, the researchers see a wide range of potential applications for the technology, from aiding the blind to helping those working in hazardous environments to providing increased awareness to motorcycle and car drivers. The latter implementation would see the entire car covered in sensors -- presumably, without the blindfold. [Warning: PDF link]

[Via Pasta and Vinegar]