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Disney tech lets users feel 3D objects on flat screens


Stashed in: Disney!, Virtual Reality!, Science Too

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Ordinarily, when we feel a bump as we're sliding our finger across a smooth surface, we do so because the increase in friction created by the bump causes the skin in our fingertip to stretch ever so slightly.

In order to simulate that friction, the Disney team uses a conductive display in which the electrostatic forces between the finger and the glass can be modulated by applying more or less voltage to the screen. An algorithm keeps track of the location and speed of the user's moving fingertip, and adjusts the "electrovibrations" to match the topography of the part of the image that's being touched.

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