Star Trek: The Next Generation introduced millions of people to the idea of a holodeck: a realistic 3D holographic projection of a complete environment where you can interact with the environment and touch objects. Now scientists have invented a system that turns this idea into reality.
Holograms are increasingly used in our daily life: they are used in medical systems, education, the arts, security and defense. But so far, visual images remain only visual. A group of researchers in flexible electronics and sensor technology at the University of Glasgow has developed a hologram system using “aerohaptics” that creates the sensation of touch using jets of air. These jets of air create the sensation of touching people’s fingers, hands and wrists.
Technology can allow us to shake hands with a colleague who is on the other side of the world and with whom we communicate virtually – to feel the touch and shake hands. And we can only guess what prospects open up for sites like OnlyFans or PornHub. The main thing is not to catch a cold in the air currents.
In some ways, this is a step up from the current generation of virtual reality, which requires wearing a headset, glasses, and smart gloves or hand controllers to provide tactile feedback. Adding a sense of touch can give holograms an extra dimension without having to wear gloves to feel contact with objects.