SIGGRAPH 2008 > For Attendees > New Tech Demos > Airborne Ultrasound Tactile Display

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Airborne Ultrasound Tactile Display

Theme: SIGGRAPH Core
Hall H

With the recent progress in computer graphics, physical simulation, and visual display technology, demands on haptic interaction techniques are increasing. SIGGRAPH 2007 featured many presentations on visual displays that enabled users to manipulate 3D graphic objects with their hands. If tactile feedback could be provided to the users' hands in 3D free space, the usability of those systems would be considerably improved.

This project demonstrates an innovative tactile display that radiates airborne ultrasound and produces high-fidelity pressure fields with multiple ultrasound transducers based on wave-synthesis techniques. Airborne ultrasound can be applied directly onto the skin without the risk of penetration. Tactile feedback is provided to the users' hands without requiring the use of gloves or mechanical attachments.

Enhanced Life
This tactile display enables tactile feedback superimposed over 3D graphics projected in free space, which provides more intuitive handling of 3D "touchable" graphics. For example, users could touch Princess Leia projected in the air.

Goal
To produce a 3D force field that is sufficient for handling virtual objects with hands. The force field designed to be effective within a 30 cm3 region, with 10 gf, 1 kHz bandwidth, and 1cm spatial resolution.

Innovations
This tactile display utilizes one of the nonlinear phenomena of ultrasound: acoustic radiation pressure. Unlike air jets, various spatial patterns of acoustic radiation pressure can be synthesized by using the interference of the ultrasound.

Vision
This device could be an alternative way to provide tactile feedback with no mechanical attachments. In industrial use, it might also be useful in manipulating small particles or probing the surface of an object to measure the visc-oelastic properties of the object from a distant point.

Contributors
Takayuki Iwamoto
Mari Tatezono
Takayuki Hoshi
Hiroyuki Shinoda
The University of Tokyo