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Science Technology

'Smart Fingertips' Pave Way For Virtual Sensations 69

sciencehabit writes "Imagine feeling like you're lifting a 50-kilogram weight just by pulling at thin air. That's just one of the possible applications of new 'smart fingertips' created by a team of nanoengineers. The electronic fingers mold to the shape of the hand, and so far the researchers have shown that they can transmit electric signals to the skin. The team hopes to one day incorporate the devices into a smart glove that creates virtual sensations, fooling the brain into feeling everything from texture to temperature."
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'Smart Fingertips' Pave Way For Virtual Sensations

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  • pr0n (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 10, 2012 @07:07AM (#40944299)

    You were thinking it. Get it out of the way first.

  • ummmmm (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Tactile sensation =/= resistance... It's not going to feel like your lifting anything...

    • It would be a bit more invasive; but actuating muscles with external electrical signals isn't exactly science fiction, and I suspect that you could get a surprisingly convincing feeling of resistance if you combined a bit of externally-induced muscle tension with a strong sensation of pressure on the skin surfaces supposedly in contact with the item.

      It wouldn't be quite right, since, in absence of an actual weight, you'd need to stimulate the opposing muscle group as well to keep the user's hands from just

    • Exactly !

      Who lifts 50kg with their finger tips anyway - not even a static 50kg could be simulated. And even if this is expanded to whole-of-hand can it really apply 500N of force ???

      Fine motor control for remote applications - whole different story and a fantastic application ...

    • Maybe they just mean they can make you hurt like hell. 50KG is a lot to support on your fingertips.

  • Didn't Nintendo already conquer this with the NES Power Glove?
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Sorry guys, I didn't rtfa, but doesn't our current hand have the ability to feel temps and textures?

    • by f3rret (1776822)

      Sorry guys, I didn't rtfa, but doesn't our current hand have the ability to feel temps and textures?


  • by Trepidity (597) <delirium-slashdot&hackish,org> on Friday August 10, 2012 @07:41AM (#40944519)

    I suppose this one is more miniaturized, but "virtual reality" and "haptics" people have been trying this sort of thing for a while, without having yet really come up with a compelling win. Here [] is a 1995 Popular Science article about a device that takes basically the same approach to characterizing what constitutes texture perceived by fingertips (by simulating sliding/bumpiness/resistance/stickiness). Available for only $20,000! And a 1996 textbook [] devoted large sections to the topic as well.

  • Nanoengineers! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by fearofcarpet (654438) on Friday August 10, 2012 @08:11AM (#40944785)

    Wow, those are some tiny engineers! I wonder what they eat?

  • Nano, eh? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by T Murphy (1054674) on Friday August 10, 2012 @08:15AM (#40944817) Journal

    a team of nanoengineers

    I think the politically correct term would be "vertically challenged engineers".

    • a team of nanoengineers

      I think the politically correct term would be "vertically challenged engineers".

      When, oh when, will we be able to live in a world where the "nano-ness" of an engineer is no longer noteworthy? Do you really want to live in a world where it is okay to deride someone with comments like "From small minds come small ideas", or "She uses CGS because MKS is too big for her", or "Why are you crying? Got a Planck in your eye?", and the like? Think of the wee children.

    • a team of nanoengineers

      I think the politically correct term would be "vertically challenged engineers".

      So, they're essentially two dimensional? How strange.

  • To know exactly where the comments on this post were going to start...and probably finish...with a bang
  • So, how long before someone comes up with a torture device that can fool your body into thinking it's on fire?

  • Welcome to the Matrix.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    I love the Penisglove. It's so bad.

  • Patiently awaiting the day there's malware that makes you feel like your hands are on fire.

  • Greaaaaaaaattt...more threads to stay away from on 4chan.

  • by Havenwar (867124) on Friday August 10, 2012 @09:36AM (#40945797)

    A glove that makes me feel sensations is great and all, but I do hope it comes with some pretty heavy security limitations and so on... Wouldn't want some hacker to get access to my machine and burn my hand, or shock it, or even just cause extremely unpleasant sensations to it as a form of blackmail or just for kicks. Sure, "just take it off"... not so easy if both your hands are spasming because you feel they are stuck into a fire or something.

    • by neminem (561346)

      If it were just the sensation, and didn't actually cause your hand to be burned or shocked or whatever... I bet you'd have a new untapped market for that. An... adult market, let's say.

      • by Havenwar (867124)

        First off, to the people you are referring to it wouldn't matter if they were actually shocked and burned or whatever. They do that for fun. Secondly, they don't find it fun when it happens to them non-consensually, e.g. because their system was hacked. Which is what this thread is about - the porn thread you'll find higher up.

        As for whether it matters if the sensations are caused by the stimuli - no it doesn't. Your body still reacts to pain whether it's real or not. if you perceive you are being shocked o

    • by Havenwar (867124)

      I feel that the fact that people modded this funny really proves that this is a valid concern.

  • I'm no strong-man but I need to use at least my hand and arm to do that.
  • ...Get off my Lawn!

    Falling, floating, and flying? So, what's next, fucking?

  • *****FILE LIST****** 1. semi.erect.nipplev1.0-PRONSTARS 2. saucer.nipplev3.0-PRONSTARS 3. fully.erect.nipplev12.0-PRONSTARS 4. . . and so on

fortune: cpu time/usefulness ratio too high -- core dumped.