Airborne Ultrasound Tactile Display creates haptic 3D objects you can poke

Sure, you may have your fancy vibrating controllers and liquid-injecting touch screens, but Takayuki Iwamoto wants you to play with the air. Iwamoto and some of his buddies at the University of Tokyo have come up with a way to use focused ultrasound to create manipulable virtual objects in space. Using multiple transducers, the "Airborne Ultrasound Tactile Display" creates an acoustic radiation pressure field. Holding your hand in the field allows you to "feel" the object, manipulate it, and feel response. Right now, the system only creates a vertical field, but you had better bet that Iwamoto is working on that. As for suitable applications, interest has already been shown from both industrial and gaming developers. No word on the hentai industry taking note, but that can't be too far away. Check the video after the break to see this tech in action.

[Via BBC News]