Japan firm showcases 'touchable' 3D technology

Sep 01, 2014
A journalist tries to use "3D-Haptics Technology", at a press preview in Tsukuba, suburban Tokyo on September 1, 2014

Technology that generates touchable 3D imagery was unveiled in Japan Monday, with its developers saying users could pull and push objects that are not really there.

Know-how that could improve a gaming experience, or allow someone to physically shape objects that exist only on a computer, will soon be available to buy, said Miraisens, a high-tech firm based outside Tokyo.

"Touching is an important part of but has until now been lacking it," its chief executive Natsuo Koda told a press conference.

"This will give you a sense that you can touch objects in the 3D world," said Koda, a former Sony researcher on virtual reality.

It works by fooling the brain, blending the images the eye is seeing with different patterns of vibration created by a small device on the fingertip, said Norio Nakamura, the inventor of "3D-Haptics Technology" and at the firm.

In one demonstration of a prototype head-mounted display, the company showed how the user can feel resistance from virtual buttons that he or she is pushing.

Miraisens is a spin-off of the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology based in the city of Tsukuba east of Tokyo.

Billing the technology as a world first, the company says it wants to commercialise it through applications in electronics and the services industry.

Japan's high-tech venture Miraisens CEO Natsuo Koda demonstrates "3D-Haptics Technology" at a press preview in Tsukuba, suburban Tokyo, on September 1, 2014

The system can be built into devices in the shape of coins, sticks or pens, amongst others.

Company officials said they could foresee a number of ways of using the technology.

For example, if built into a game controller, it could be used to give a sense of resistance in response to certain actions within the game, they said.

Japan's high-tech venture Miraisens CEO Natsuo Koda demonstrates "3D-Haptics technology", at a press preview in Tsukuba, suburban Tokyo on September 1, 2014

It could also be used to make up complicated data that could be fed into a 3D printer, allowing a child to make a virtual dinosaur model and then watch it come into existence.

Other applications could include help for doctors carrying out surgery remotely, or navigation assistance in canes used by .

Explore further: Leap Motion offers VR mount for hand recognition device, reveals plans for better VR experience

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Japan develops 'touchable' 3D TV technology

Aug 26, 2010

A Japanese research team said Thursday it had developed the world's first 3D television system that allows users to touch, pinch or poke images floating in front of them.

Sony unveils virtual reality headset for PS4

Mar 19, 2014

Sony is getting into the virtual reality business. The Japanese electronics and gaming giant unveiled a prototype virtual reality headset to be used in conjunction with its PlayStation 4 video game console ...

Atheer Labs demos 3-D virtual object-manipulation goggles

Jul 01, 2013

(Phys.org) —Atheer Labs has announced the development of a new type of technology that allows for creating and manipulating virtual three-dimensional objects via goggles or by other types of devices. Calling ...

Yahoo Japan develops 3D search engine-printer

Sep 18, 2013

Yahoo Japan Corp. has developed a voice-activated Internet search that links to a 3D printer, letting users look online for blueprints to deliver solid objects in a few minutes, the company said.

Recommended for you

Tablets, cars drive AT&T wireless gains—not phones

5 hours ago

AT&T says it gained 2 million wireless subscribers in the latest quarter, but most were from non-phone services such as tablets and Internet-connected cars. The company is facing pricing pressure from smaller rivals T-Mobile ...

Twitter looks to weave into more mobile apps

6 hours ago

Twitter on Wednesday set out to weave itself into mobile applications with a free "Fabric" platform to help developers build better programs and make more money.

Blink, point, solve an equation: Introducing PhotoMath

7 hours ago

"Ma, can I go now? My phone did my homework." PhotoMath, from the software development company MicroBlink, will make the student's phone do math homework. Just point the camera towards the mathematical expression, ...

Google unveils app for managing Gmail inboxes

7 hours ago

Google is introducing an application designed to make it easier for its Gmail users to find and manage important information that can often become buried in their inboxes.

User comments : 0