London, Oct 9: Researchers at Disney’s Lab have reportedly invented a new technology, using which, people can ‘feel’ the texture of objects displayed on a touchscreen through tiny vibrations.
The technique involves sending tiny vibrations through the display to replicate the ‘feel’ of shallow bumps, ridges and edges of an object.
According to the BBC, the vibrations re-create the effect felt in reality and make people believe as if really touching a textured surface.
Researcher Dr Ali Israr, who created the technology along with colleagues at Disney’s Lab, said that the vibration-generating algorithm should be easy to add to existing touchscreen systems.
Ivan Poupyrev, head of the interaction research group in Pittsburgh said that human brain perceives the 3D bump on a surface mostly from information that it receives via skin stretching.
Poupyrev explained that in order to fool the brain, vibrations sent through the screen artificially stretch the skin on a fingertip making the brain believe it is actually a bump on a flat surface.
Isar said that the vibration system should be more flexible than existing systems used to give tactile feedback on touchscreens, and with their algorithm, they have a set of controls that make it possible to tune tactile effects to a specific visual artefact on the fly.
The report added that the more pronounced a feature, like pineapple, apples, jellyfish, a fossilised trilobite as well as the hills and valleys on a map, the greater the vibration is needed to mimic its feel. (ANI)