We can interact with our computers using our voice or even mind, and as Augmented Reality is rapidly evolving, soon we will be able to merge virtual reality with real environment. And with the new discovery made by the scientists from the Sussex Computer Human Interaction Lab, the interconnection may go even deeper. Ultrahaptics, a system originally developed at the University of Bristol, UK, is now capable of evoking different feelings in humans through stimulus that resemble human touch. Although electric shock would surely evoke more intense emotions, British scientists decided to be more humane and used air for this purpose.
The team of developers behind the project called SenseX, conducted a research which shows that stimulating different areas of the hand can make you feel happy, sad or even frightened. For instance, short bursts of air to the thumb, index finger and the palm will make you feel excited. And this is exactly what the device does – it blows you in the hand. Sounds a bit strange at the moment, but if the team manages to develop the technology and successfully implement it into computers or wearables, Ultrahaptics may open a vast field of opportunities for social apps and game development. Dr. Marianna Obrist, Lecturer at the Department of Informatics, said that the “technology could be used between parent and baby, or to enrich audio-visual communication in long-distance relationships.”
Dr. Obrist was awarded about $1.5 million for further development of SenseX initiative and will expand the project to conduct similar research on taste and smell. So, it's quite possible that in five years or so we will be able to smell the ads, which will surely make us buy more and more products. If you wish to learn more about the SenseX project, follow this link. For more information about Ultrahaptics, visit the official website.