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New tech uses ultrasound to create haptics you can 'see' and touch

Timothy J. Seppala, @timseppala
December 4, 2014
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We've seen haptic feedback in mid-air before, but not quite like this. The folks from Bristol University are using focused ultrasound in a way that creates a 3D shape out of air that you can see and feel. We know what you're probably thinking: How do you see something made of air? By directing the apparatus generating it at oil. As you do. According to the school, the tech could see use in letting surgeons feel a tumor while exploring a CT scan. Or, on the consumer side of things, to create virtual knobs you could turn to adjust your car's infotainment system without taking your eyes off the road. The tech can also apparently be added to 3D displays to make something that's both visible and touchable. If you're curious about what it looks like in action, we've embedded a video just below.

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