New “Star Trek holodeck” VR technology allows users to feel holograms

So far VR has been mostly limited to display technologies but a new VR tech from the University of Bristol uses sound waves to project “haptic holograms” into mid-air and lets you feel 3D objects with your bare hands. Adding the sense of touch will make VR a lot more immersive and is a step closer to the Star Trek holodeck. For example a museum visitor could handle virtual replicas of priceless exhibits while the real thing remained safely behind glass.

The system use a Leap Motion sensor to track the precise position of a user’s hands is in relation to the virtual object and then directs ultrasound with the right frequency to it which produces the sensation of touching different parts of the object.

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