FutureWire - futurism and emerging technology

Monday, December 06, 2004

Simulating Textured Surfaces

Haptics -- the science of emulating touch in computing devices -- has made crucial inroads in the medical and gaming fields, for very different reasons. Now, researchers at the University of British Columbia have developed a devices that simulates the feel of specific textures.

Called the WHaT (Wireless Haptic Texture Sensor), the pen-like device allows the user to "feel" the texture of surfaces that it is run over. Corduroy, sandpaper, beard stubble, polished surfaces and other distinctive textures can all be transmitted through the WHaT.

The possibilities for such haptic technology are endless. Telemedicine is one of the first to come to mind, as well as computing interfaces for visually impaired users.

Source: TheFeature