Imagine a woman preparing a meal from her workplace using the latest in haptic technology. All she has to do is move her arms about in the 3D shape projected by her haptic holographic screen for the wirelessly connected electronic arm to follow the movements. From vibrating cell phones that alert you to an incoming message or call, to technology that lets you feel things without touching them, haptic technology has opened up a myriad of possibilities for the future.
A tactile feedback technology that recreates the sense of touch by connecting the users hand motions with forces like vibration, haptic technology is creating new approaches for operations in sectors like healthcare, entertainment and retail! For instance, haptic technology that uses ultrasound to create 3D shapes in mid-air that can be felt by users can be used in CT scans and in complicated neurosurgery. The ultrasound technology determines the shape of the object in question using sound waves and the 3D holographic tech combined with haptic forces recreate the shape of the object.
In addition, haptic technology can help visually impaired people get a better understanding of their surroundings. For instance, a haptic shoe inbuilt with a GPS system can give directions to a visually impaired person while navigating busy roads. The shoes can also give them warnings of possible obstacles and help them feel obstructions before encountering them.
The entertainment industry has also expanded on haptic utilities to improve user experiences. Imagine going for a 3D haptic movie, where you not only feel like you are part of the film, but can also feel the rain on your face or the wind through your hair. Even video games are using haptic feedback to help gamers immerse themselves into their fantasy world.
Elsewhere, retail stores are looking into the possible applications of tactile feedback. Imagine shopping online for a sweater, and being able to feel the material using haptic tech, and even try it on to see if it fits. Such a revolutionary application could change the face of online shopping altogether. Even if you want to buy a sofa, haptic electronics can help you sit and feel the couch quality while trying to buy it online.
The way forward for haptic feedback is to help people see, feel and smell places that they have never been to. For instance, astronauts could use haptic technology to get a sense of the surroundings in a new planet before actually venturing out in one. Families separated by distance could interact with each other despite this.
Haptic technology could truly revolutionize user experiences in multiple ways. It can give rise to opportunities to research various scientific aspects, from bacteria to extra-terrestrial surfaces in a safe and secure environment, helping us progress at a faster rate for the benefit of all.
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