Japanese Tech Firm, Miraisens, Unveils New “Touchable” 3D Technology Which May Influence 3D Printing
Japanese high-tech firm, Miraisens, announced that it has developed haptic technology, which closes the tactility gap that formerly existed with the virtual reality experience. Haptic technology or “haptics” simulates the sense of touch by applying vibrations, forces, or motions to the user. The company, based in Tsukuba, just outside of Tokyo, says its haptic technology “will give you a sense that you can touch objects in the 3D world.”
More familiar applications for haptic technology are, for example, the video game controllers that simulate the tactile experience of automobile driving–from racing to high-speed chases. Game controllers, including steering wheels, rumble or vibrate in response to, for instance, the texture of the road surface, the speed of the vehicle. and certain driving maneuvers such as sharp turns. Miraisens’ haptic technology renders earlier efforts like these somewhat quaint. “It works by fooling the brain,” says Norio Nakamura, chief technical officer at Miraisens, and the inventer of 3D-Haptics Technology, “blending the images the eye is seeing with different patterns of vibration created by a small device on the fingertip.”
At the press conference in Tsukuba, a journalist was allowed to demonstrate a prototype head-mount display, which connects with a small hand-held, coin-shaped device that enables the user to feel resistance from virtual buttons he or she pushes. The company says the haptics system can be built into devices in the shape of pens, sticks, or coins, like the one demonstrated. In fact, as a company spokesperson suggested, one particularly invaluable use for the new technology a navigation assistance system in the form of a cane for visually impaired people.
Miraisens, which is a spin-off of the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology, anticipates many uses for the technology, including opening remarkable new 3D horizons in video gaming: “It could be used to give a sense of resistance in response to certain actions within the game,” they speculated. Other likely uses will be medicine or a combination of medicine and robotics, particularly with remote surgery. In such scenarios, an expert surgeon might perform surgery on a patient from a thousand miles away. Nursing staff would set up the equipment, prep and monitor the patient. The surgeon would be a telepresence, receiving resistance and tactile feedback during the procedure.
The company provided other examples where their haptics system could be applied and this is where 3D printing comes into play: “It could also be used,” they suggest, “to make up complicated data that could be fed into a 3D printer, allowing a child to make a virtual dinosaur model and then watch it come into existence.” And that’s evidently the next step for Miraisens, as the company aims to create commercial applications for this groundbreaking technology in the electronics and service industries.
What do you think would be the best uses for this technology within the 3D printing and modeling space? Discuss in the Touchable 3D Technology forum thread on 3DPB.com
You May Also Like
Newest LCD 3D Printer, the LC Opus, Launched by Photocentric
Founded in Peterborough in 2002, Photocentric has grown far beyond its humble beginnings in a small room. The company essentially invented liquid crystal display, or LCD, 3D printing, which is...
Creality Taking Part in the Space Robotics Project Press Conference
The Space Robotics project powered by Creality has just opened a door of transmitting 3D technology to children in Brazil. The president of AEB, FNDE, UnB and other representatives in...
3D Printing News Briefs, September 2, 2021: VELO3D, EOS, & More
In 3D Printing News Briefs today, VELO3D is expanding its team in Europe, and Etihad Engineering is working with EOS and Baltic3D on an R&D project. Moving on from business...
Tissue Models 3D Printed with Human-Derived Bioinks by Allegro 3D & Humabiologics
Rapid-throughput bioprinting company Allegro 3D, a spin-off from the University of California San Diego (UCSD), was awarded nearly $1 million in grant funding this spring to develop a next-generation digital light...
View our broad assortment of in house and third party products.