SIGGRAPH Emerging Technologies

Adding to the visual impairment suffered yesterday, I am now inflicted by diminished aural capacity, courtesy the House of Blues.

Back on Monday when my senses functioned properly, a brief perusal of the Emerging Technologies section saw one particular standout, the Tachi-Kawakami Laboratory. This lab at the University of Tokyo has six projects on display; Fibratus Tactile Sensor, TORSO, Haptic Telexistence, Spinning-disc 3D Television, Gravity Grabber and Transparent Cockpit. The latter two immediately impressed.

“Transparent Cockpit is a vehicle cockpit in which the interior appointments of the vehicle are virtually transparent by using retro-reflective projection technology. In such a cockpit, the area occluded by the door can be seen as that from an actual window.” The claim is not hyperbole, it truly appears as if you’re seeing through the front side of a car to the curb below. The benefits of such a system are readily apparent if it can be brought successfully to mass market.

Gravity Grabber is a “simple [wearable] haptic display that provides a new form of haptic interaction that delivers sensations of weight and inertial mass of virtual objects. Gravity Grabber is derived from the novel insight that tactile sensation caused by fingerpad deformation provides a reliable sensation of weight even when proprioceptive sensation is absent.”

Visit www.star.t.u-tokyo.ac.jp/ for more on these emerging technologies.

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