Researchers at Disney have developed technology that simulate textures on a flat screen to allow viewers to feel what they are watching. It means that a user could feel objects and textures while they look at an image or watch a movie on a screen like a mobile phone or tablet.
Disney has also been testing the technology on larger screens and it could even be used to create a new generation of “textured” television that could enhance their movies.
The researchers found that they can create the perception of an edge, bump, ridge and protrusions by exploiting the way the skin moves when feeling real-life physical objects. Textures cause the skin of the finger tip to stretch and compress as it slides over an object, creating the sensations that tell our brain about what we are touching.
Disney says it can simulate this affect by applying an electrical field across a flat screen, which creates friction through electrostatic forces on the skin when a finger is dragged across it. By changing the strength of the electrostatic force, they say they can alter the friction to produce different textures without having to physically vibrate the screen.
Disney believes its latest texture simulator could be used to help people feel their way around maps by creating the bumps and curves of hills and valleys. It can also recreate the spines of a cactus or the hard smooth contours of a kettle.
They also say textures could be created on images projected onto a screen, although it is unlikely to be something that will be encouraged in cinemas. However, the system could also be used to help give the visually impaired information abut their surroundings using the camera on a device such as an iPad.
Source: telegraph.co.ukAdded: 5 February 2014