SensaBubble: It's a bubble, but not as we know it (w/ video)

Apr 23, 2014
This image shows users interacting with SensaBubble. Credit: Bristol Interaction and Graphics group, University of Bristol

Multi-sensory technology that creates soap bubbles, which can have images projected onto them or when the bubbles are burst release a scent, will be unveiled at an international conference later this month.

The research paper, to be presented at one of the world's most important conferences on human-computer interfaces - ACM CHI 2014 [26 April-1 May], could be used in areas such as gaming or education and encourage a new way of thinking about multi-sensory technologies.

SensaBubble, led by Professor Sriram Subramanian from the University of Bristol's Department of Computer Science, is a chrono-sensory mid-air display system that generates scented to deliver information to people using different senses.

The bubble-based technology creates bubbles with a specified size and frequency, fills them with an opaque fog that is optionally scented, controls their route, tracks their location and projects an image onto them.

SensaBubble uses the concept of chrono-sensory experiences where layers of information are presented via different senses for variable length of times, each attracting different types of interest from the user. Firstly, a visual display projected onto the bubble which only lasts until it bursts; secondly, a scent released upon the bursting of the bubble slowly disperses and leaves a longer-lasting noticeable trace.

This video is not supported by your browser at this time.

Sriram Subramanian, Professor of Human-Computer Interaction in the University's Bristol Interaction and Graphics group, said: "The human sense of smell is powerful, but there are few research systems that explore and examine ways to use it. We have taken the first steps to explore how smell can be used to enhance and last longer in a visual object such as a soap bubble.

This image shows bubbles projected with the Bluetooth icon and a letter. Credit: Bristol Interaction and Graphics group, University of Bristol

"There are many areas in which bubble-based technology like SensaBubble could be applied, such as a SensaBubble clock that releases the number of scented bubbles corresponding to the hour or SensaBubble Maths, an educational game for children, which incorporates smell as feedback on their success."

This image shows the bubble generator. Credit: Bristol Interaction and Graphics group, University of Bristol

Interactive technologies that are directly targeted at generating public interest and drawing the user's attention have many applications in advertising and certain forms of education, such as museum exhibits.

SensaBubble could be adapted for use in a variety of areas including education, alerts and engaging user experiences.

Explore further: Sneak a peek through the mist to technology of the future (w/ video)

More information: Paper: SensaBubble: a chrono-sensory mid-air display of sight and smell, Sue Ann Seah, Diego Martinez Plasencia, Peter Bennett, Abhijit Karnik, Vlad Otrocol, Jarrod Knibbe, Andy Cockburn, and Sriram Subramanian, Proceedings of ACM CHI 2014 Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems. Toronto, Canada. 2014., 26 April-1 May 2014.

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Hawaii lab turns laser-powered bubbles into microrobots

May 23, 2012

(Phys.org) -- A team of scientists from the University of Hawaii are working on microrobots created from bubbles of air in a saline solution. The bubbles take on their title of “robots” as a laser ...

UltraHaptics—it's magic in the air (w/ Video)

Oct 07, 2013

A system that allows users to experience multi-point haptic feedback above an interactive surface without having to touch or hold any device will be unveiled this week [Friday 11 October] at one of the world's ...

Sound increases the efficiency of boiling

May 24, 2012

Scientists at the Georgia Institute of Technology achieved a 17-percent increase in boiling efficiency by using an acoustic field to enhance heat transfer. The acoustic field does this by efficiently removing vapor bubbles ...

Recommended for you

Researcher explores drone-driven crop management

20 hours ago

A flock of pigeons flies over the soybean field where J. Craig Williams is standing. He reaches down and rips off a brown pod from one of the withered plants and splits it open. Grabbing a tiny bean between ...

Wireless electronic implants stop staph, then dissolve

Nov 24, 2014

Researchers at Tufts University, in collaboration with a team at the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana, have demonstrated a resorbable electronic implant that eliminated bacterial infection in mice ...

Scientist develops uncrackable code for nuclear weapons

Nov 24, 2014

Mark Hart, a scientist and engineer in Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory's (LLNL) Defense Technologies Division, has been awarded the 2015 Surety Transformation Initiative (STI) Award from the National ...

User comments : 2

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

marko
not rated yet Apr 24, 2014
They could use a Dyson Air Multiplier Fan which is bladeless to send the bubbles over long distances. Put the bubble blower in the throat area of the fan.

Also, the bubble solution should be warmer than the air so that bouyancy will lift the bubble up higher and longer into the air.

Finally, I can imagine rave parties using this technology to send all kinds of smoke wafting around.
Jimee
not rated yet Apr 24, 2014
Every Macys, etc. will be falling over themselves for this technology. Fragrance counters? Camping gear? Technology integration? I would bet this could be big, if they can make it marketable.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.