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Displays Science Technology

Tangible Display Makes 3D Touchable 112

moon_monkey writes "Researchers in Japan have developed a display that makes 3D objects solid enough to grasp. The system, created by engineers at Japan's NTT, combines a 3D display with a haptic glove, making 3D items that look real but also feel solid to touch. Two cameras are used to image an object, to make the 3D image. A computer also uses this to render a solid representation. It could be used to inspect products remotely, or even to shake hands with someone on the other side of the world, the researchers say."
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Tangible Display Makes 3D Touchable

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  • by UbuntuDupe ( 970646 ) * on Sunday July 01, 2007 @11:09PM (#19712619) Journal
    And by "McDonald's", I of course mean "teledildonics" []?
    • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      I am NOT letting a BIONIC HAND controlled by some sicko on the internet lock itself around my nutsack...
    • When I heard Nelson speak the term he used was psycho-acoustic-tele-dildonics... I think that's what he used in Computer Lib and Dream Machines too but my copy was filched many years ago...
    • And by "McDonald's", I of course mean "teledildonics" []?
      You can keep the "special sauce."
  • by jandrese ( 485 ) <> on Sunday July 01, 2007 @11:11PM (#19712641) Homepage Journal
    I think porn manufacturers just popped a woody. Making it feel "real" is probably a long way off though, especially for home use.
    • Knowing the pr0n industry, and guys in general - 5 years, tops.

      Then we'll be reading stories about people who die of starvation because they were so caught up in their cybersex world, that they forgot to eat, sleep, etc., and just died.

      And there will be clinics for cybersextoy addicts.

      And law suits.

      The big question for slashdotters, of course, is "Will it run linux?" This will be the first time they prefer Windows, because it can be depended to "go down on them" on a regular basis.

      And no, I don't want to imagine a Boewulf Cluster of them - it would be a REAL cluster-f*ck!

      • Don't forget RSI from remote sex0rz!
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        Luckily, Nature has a built-in cure for sex addicts, which is called the orgasm. After the event occurs, the subject's interest in sex naturally abates for a time, and they either roll over and fall asleep or go and see what's in the fridge.
      • Slashdot posts will decrease dramatically.
      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        > Then we'll be reading stories about people who die of starvation because they were so caught up in their cybersex world There was a story like this in the late 60's except it wasn't just cyber sex but people in telepresence/VR couches at living out the second lives at the cost of their first lives. I can still remember the description of a scene where this guy breaks into a house and finds mountains of cartons of commercial crap (e.g. "fizzy cola" and stuff you'd find on the shopping channel) ordered
      • by meiao ( 846890 )
        then you can screw Windows rather than the contrary.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Wicko ( 977078 )
      I will be the first person to ever receive a vjob.
    • by skinfitz ( 564041 ) on Monday July 02, 2007 @03:00AM (#19714201) Journal

      Making it feel "real" is probably a long way off though, especially for home use. opposed to work use..?
      • by jandrese ( 485 )
        Work use being the ones they hinted at in the article. Letting molecular biologists touch and manipulate molecules that they're visualizing, etc...

        Additionally, the cheap home model will probably not be as good as an expensive commercial models.
  • Has to be said... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ushering05401 ( 1086795 ) on Sunday July 01, 2007 @11:20PM (#19712717) Journal
    Get money from pr0n kingpins. Bring them into the family and let them subsidize this tech/form their own group of researchers to specifically pursue porn related applications. It will get to market so much faster than if left to academics..

    My interest would be to explore new human/computer interactions (not like that sickos). The 2d nature of monitor systems is only slightly less annoying with the new 3d super gee whiz flying through space multiple workspace navigation systems.

    A haptic glove with sensitive feedback mechanisms and a graphical interface that allows organization of workspaces/workspace elements in an untethered 3d environment is something I have always wanted. Add in some good voice recognition and a chair designed so you can rest your arms while still retaining full range of motion with the gloved hand.

    It would be the interface of my dreams.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by snilloc ( 470200 )
      The 2d nature of monitor systems is only slightly less annoying with the new 3d super gee whiz flying through space multiple workspace navigation systems.

      While 3d workspaces certainly would have their applications (medicine for instance), IMO for the average individual 3d would be merely re-creating the physical workspace that the 2d interface replaced. The 2d space is useful because it is an abstraction/simplification of the work that was previously done in 3d.

      • by neomunk ( 913773 )
        Telepresence as I understand it has unlimited engineering possibilities, not just medical (which is a specific type of engineering really, just a massively complicated one) but besides any industrial type usage it's mostly a social tool.

        I mean, really, as far as talking to people goes, the telephone is enough. It's the ultimate evolution in long distance communication taken as a basic concept.


        Videoconferencing is just so much nicer, you can see the smiles or the anger of the person on the other side, f
    • I don't think there's a geek in the world with the sheer physical strength [] to work with that interface for very long.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    *runs out to buy lube*
  • Wait (Score:2, Insightful)

    by ZachMG ( 1122511 )
    So does this mean that there is a possibility of realtime or "live" 3D encounters, no I do not think so. At this point it may be able to scan in one object and display it for feeling but doing it where new things can be scanned and created anywhere realtime would need processing power way beyond what we have so to all you sickos out there this probably wont be of much use if you like anything better then a plastic bag full of Vaseline.
    • I don't imagine any heavy processing requirements here. Collision detection on 3D objects is done in almost every 3D game. The nodes in the glove are equivalent to a few other moving game objects colliding with the 3d object in question. How many games have you seen that can handle that workload? Quite a few, I think.

      This article is B.S., though. This isn't a "tactile display", it's just a 3D display, much like we've had for decades, with a force feedback glove attached.
  • Tits? (Score:4, Funny)

    by imag0 ( 605684 ) on Sunday July 01, 2007 @11:32PM (#19712827) Homepage

    Wake me when there's tits and we'll talk. /mmmm. downloadable b00bies.
    • They produced your prototype already, but strangely,
      all they could say was that "it feels like... a bag of sand"
    • Their 2 camera system seems quite neat, but there would be no way of producing realistic consistency from images. In other words, without someone programming it in manually then your cyberboobs will feel like they're made of concrete. I suppose an electronic force meter could be used to poke various materials to get their feedback, but even without that it would still be good for the female version.
      • by mikael ( 484 )
        Have you seen the Haptic Pen []. It provides feedback based on the type of material. A solid surface locks the system, while soft squishy materials just slow the pen down a bit.
  • Before we deploy this, could we make sure the safety systems work? Otherwise, I don't know how many crappy stories we'd hear about being trapped by them due to the commonly occurring alien weapon, energy burst, or 19th-century super-villain.
    • Oh, and can we make sure that the safeties can't be disengaged? Oh, unless we're being attacked by the Borg, in which case disengaging the safeties is a good thing.
  • Old news (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Scutter ( 18425 ) on Sunday July 01, 2007 @11:43PM (#19712909) Journal
    I remember using a haptic glove like this at Comdex like 10 years ago. The display wasn't 3D, but other than that, it was essentially the same thing. The glove had force-feedback motors in each fingertip and when you grasped one of the objects on the screen, they provided tactile feedback representing mass, weight, and to a much lesser extent, texture. In the demonstration, you had to stack blocks of varying types. Very simplistic, but also very very cool. I always wondered where the tech went since I never saw it again after that.
    • Suddenly telecommuting opens new dimensions, like slapping your boss's avatar in the face (low tech version invented by the Japanese as well)
    • by QuantumG ( 50515 )
      Last time I looked at them, they were hideously expensive and there was no applications for them (and yes, I suppose those two are related).

      Seems to be the case with a lot of things these days. People want to make the early adopters pay for the privilege of being first, that's fine, but you actually have to give away units to third party developers too, or you'll never get a killer app.

  • by Actually, I do RTFA ( 1058596 ) on Sunday July 01, 2007 @11:49PM (#19712959)

    So, I'm the 14th person to comment, so I'm 14 people too late to point out the pr0n application. So here's a few nifty, but not dirty, uses:

    1. Music lessons on the computer.
    2. Virtual keyboard/mouse. Hey, that portable computer just became a lot closer.
    3. Controlling robots.

    Shoot, I'm sorry, I'm too excited about the pr0n application. Will these gloves be waterproof for easy cleaning?

    • by hey! ( 33014 )
      How about remote surgery for battlefield and accident scene first aid?
    • Seriously.

      Porn-hungry Slashdotters need to get their minds out of the gutter and start thinking about things other than porn. Even though I don't have much to say on TFA, I feel it necessary to balance out the discussion by contributing a comment that does not even mention porn. Not even once!

      - RG>
  • Games, you momos! Yes, sex is fun, too, but games are fun... also... Yeah...

    Imagine wielding a "REAL" sword and having it slice through "REAL" flesh. Or... or... Damn it all, just forget what I just said. Sex is far better.
    • Besides, the Wii came out. I think a multipurpose instrument you wave around, being simpiler to deal with in a program, will be far better.

    • I think that is cool..... jack thompson will blow a gasket when he finds out you can actually "strangle people" and feel what it is like to "slash and shoot" people
  • ...shortly thereafter, the human era will be ended.
  • ... well, I could, but the other posters in this thread already made all of them.
  • I have the monitor that shows a control stick of an aircraft and when there are G's or damage taken it shakes and I feel it. Nothing new.
    • If you're going to be a pro Slashdotter and not read the article, at least read the headline so that the comments you post actually make *SENSE*.
  • One more step towards a true cybersex experience!
  • In Soviet Russia, 3d tangible display touches you!
  • by Animats ( 122034 ) on Monday July 02, 2007 @01:37AM (#19713655) Homepage

    This idea goes back a long way. I think it was first tried in the 1970s, using the input end of a remote manipulator arm intended for handling radioactive material. It's been done dozens of times since then. The problem is doing it well.

    We have enough compute power now to get the lag down to a few milliseconds, which was a big problem ten years ago. Then it's mostly a mechanical design problem. Most of the devices so far were too clunky. Is this one better?

  • Yes! (Score:3, Funny)

    by martin-boundary ( 547041 ) on Monday July 02, 2007 @01:54AM (#19713785)
    Sweet setup! Im buying one as soon as they finish programming "Three Stooges: The Game" on that puppy!
  • This has been done a long time ago: []
  • Did anyone else notice?

    "... Makes 3D Touchable"
    "...makes 3D objects solid enough to grasp."

    And yet:

    "... also feel solid to touch."

    How exactly is feeling solid to the touch, i.e. having the illusion of being solid, that same as actually being solid, as both the title and first sentence rather clearly state? Sheesh.

    Regardless, I'm kinda curious... given that it only creates the illusion of solidity, if as suggested one were to shake hands virtually using the device, what would happen if one were to do a Schw
    • by deviceb ( 958415 )
      if the glove were designed with a certain threshold of allowed "pain" -maybe it only crushes your hand slightly, not enough to break bones.. this comes back to how clunky the thing would be..
      If I'm spanking a cyberbooty i kinda want my hand to sting a bit ya know? and yet i don't want to have a 30lbs glove on it.

      besides pr0n.. there are endless uses for this technology
  • Finally... (Score:3, Funny)

    by Heston ( 1122839 ) on Monday July 02, 2007 @02:59AM (#19714197)
    A device which allows us to punch people in the face....OVER THE Internet!
    • I believe the killer app will be related to spam.
    • by Jords ( 826313 )

      <Zybl0re> get up

      <Zybl0re> get on up

      <Zybl0re> get up

      <Zybl0re> get on up

      <phxl|paper> and DANCE

      * nmp3bot dances :D-<

      * nmp3bot dances :D|-<

      * nmp3bot dances :D/-<

      <[SA]HatfulOfHollow> i'm going to become rich and famous after i invent a device that allows you to stab people in the face over the internet []

  • VRML! (Score:2, Funny)

    Yes! Finally! Everyone was laughing when I said VRML was the future, now who's got the last laugh? h0 h0 h0!

    Hail the 3-touchable-red-cubes!
  • NTT engineer Shiro Ozawa, who developed the system, envisages various applications. "You would be able to take the hand, or gently pat the head, of your beloved grandchild who lives far away from you," he says.

    My god, how stupid is that? Can't they come up with some serious applications?

    No, probably not. The usefulness of this kind of tech is actually quite low. First all, they don't specify what kind of 3D display they use, but from the picture it looks like they using a simple LCD, and presumably shutter glasses. Makes sense, because it's the cheapest 3D solution, but not ideal 3D display technology. It means for example, if you move your head, the 3D image will deform and the tactile feedback will no longer c

  • ...or gently pat the head, of your beloved grandchild who lives far away from you

    Let's be realistic -- beat the crap out of him!

  • This is NOT what they are calling it.

    How can it be a 'tangible 3D display" if you have to wear a special glove connected to a computer and a 2D monitor?

    A DISPLAY is a device for VISUALLY interpreting something. A TANGIBLE DISPLAY is something that displays information that can be manipulated BY the hand directly, not manipulated by the hand THROUGH another data input system.

    A real tangible display would be something that can display images or data 3-dimensionally, and would allow the displayed data or image
  • I think this is a load of crap that won't serve any useful purpose. How does that glove differentiate between holding the hand of a month old baby versus touching the statue of david ? The glove and all its sensors are physical i.e. that they would have to change their physical state in order to simulate different 'touches'. Otherwise some other form of feedback (e.g. electrodes in brain) may have to be thought of to simulate different 'touches'. The way its currently built, everything will feel the same. T
    • Actually since the virtual surfaces are modeled in software, it all depends on the parametric model you are using. So, with the appropriate model, you can modify an object's feeling of "stiffness", or make it elastically deformable, change its texture, etc. Just like how 3D graphics can have objects with different textures, bump maps, and physical behaviour.
  • What about "video" chat for blind people where they can touch other people's faces? Wouldn't that be cool?
    I'm sure p0rn apps will come out first, though.
  • It could be used to ... shake hands with someone on the other side of the world.

    Fantastic! No more sweaty hands!
  • From the photo, the equipment on the hand looks like stuff from Immersion Corporation ( You may remember Immersion as the company who won a lawsuit for the vibration technology in the Playstation controllers. GameDaily Biz has branded them as 'Patent Trolls'. However, it may not be their hardware - in which case please skip the next paragraph.

    The Cyberglove is a tight glove with flexion sensors to register finger position and thumb rotation. That would also lead me to believe that
  • This is NOT a 3D display which physically projects part of the screen to wrap your hands around it - this is basically a force-feedback glove with servo's on it to provide the force-feedback/touch resistance used in conjunction with a 2D flat-panel monitor providing a holographic display...

    Just clearing things up for people there - cuz its only the very top of TFA, and I'm sick of shitty headlines hyping old news just to generate page views on /. or some idiot blogger who *just* saw an article on tech we
  • 3d modeling. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by jshriverWVU ( 810740 ) on Monday July 02, 2007 @12:53PM (#19719069)
    Add support in blender or Maya and I'll be a happy camper. I've always wish there was a way of creating 3d models via a virtual 3d sphere that you could pull, and mold into an object vs doing it with a mouse and keyboard.
  • I don't think a "display" is a device that wraps around your hand.

  • 3D Porn.... you just _knew_ it was coming, didn't ya???

"I shall expect a chemical cure for psychopathic behavior by 10 A.M. tomorrow, or I'll have your guts for spaghetti." -- a comic panel by Cotham