Monday, October 7, 2013

TECHNOLOGY - Make Using Touch Screen Feel Bumps

"New Disney technology can add texture to completely smooth touch screens" by News Desk, PBS Newshour 10/7/2013

By regulating a flow of voltage to the surface of smooth touch screen, Disney researchers in Pittsburgh discovered that they can create the sensation of texture and three-dimensional surfaces.  The technology can represent an artificial texture applied to an image, or elevation data extracted from topographical maps.  But how does a smooth surface simulate the feel of a 3D bump?

"Our brain perceives the 3D bump on a surface mostly from information that it receives via skin stretching," said Ivan Poupyrev, who directs Disney Research, Pittsburgh's Interaction Group.  "Therefore, if we can artificially stretch skin on a finger as it slides on the touch screen, the brain will be fooled into thinking an actual physical bump is on a touch screen even though the touch surface is completely smooth."

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