Touching The World Around You

A few weeks ago, we talked about Disney’s new touchscreen technology, which would allow a user to feel the objects onscreen via an electric current that fools the fingers into feeling bumps and textures. Now, Disney has made another leap in haptic interfaces, creating a system that would allow the user to feel the interface in midair.

Similar to an Xbox Kinect, this is a three dimensional interface that allows you to touch simulated objects in midair. Called “Aireal”, the developers state that the device provides “interactive tactile experiences in free air,” basically blowing concentrated ring of air in the direction of the user, basically using sound waves to create the sensation of haptic interaction.

This is an entirely new way of conceiving touch-based technology. Most interfaces use actual surface to hand or surface to body technology to utilize haptics. Midair interaction is a completely untested form of interface, and it will be fascinating to see what uses this technology could have in the future.

What Sparks Our Fire: New technologies are leading us closer and closer to a fully 3-D interactive experience.

Do you see the Aireal becoming an integrated part of systems in the future?