A group of researchers has developed a system that allows play content in three dimensions (3D) at the visual, auditory and tactile level simultaneously through ultrasound that allows the user's ears and skin to be stimulated so that not only the content can be seen with the naked eye, but also heard and felt.
The researchers, coming from the Sussex University (United Kingdom), have published in an article published in the scientific journal «Nature» the development of a new system called «multimodal screen retaining sound» («Multimodal Acoustic Trap Display», or MATD) that allows a content 3D can be seen, heard and touched simultaneously, without glasses or any other additional device of virtual reality or augmented reality. In this way, it allows to show different holograms like a butterfly with color flapping its wings, emoticons or other images.
The system is based on the so-called «acoustophoresis», Which consists in the migration of sound through the movement of its own waves. As the researchers explain in the article, this system trap a particle by ultrasound (waves above the hearing capacity of the human ear) and illuminates it with green, blue and red light to control its color while scanning it in less than 0.1 seconds in an open space so that it reproduces a volumetric or 3D content.
Simultaneously you can also broadcast auditory and tactile content thanks to a second trapping layer based on the same ultrasonic system.
The co-creator of MATD and researcher of user interfaces in 3D at the University of Sussex, Diego Martínez Plasencia, said in a statement issued by the university that “even if it is not audible to us, ultrasound is still a mechanical wave and carries The energy through the air. Our prototype directs and centers this energy, which can then stimulate your ears for audio, or stimulate your skin to feel the content ».
The speed reached by the particles reaches 8.75 meters per second and 3.75 meters in the vertical and horizontal directionsrespectively. In this way, a capacity of manipulation of the particles is demonstrated superior to any other optical or acoustic demonstration carried out to date, as pointed out in the Nature article.
Until now science fiction movies like «Star wars»Showed systems that allowed the reproduction of 3D content at a visual, auditory and tactile level and that could be seen without the need for glasses or any other type of additional tool, but« are slow, have limited vision perseverance capabilities and, as much importantly, they are related to operational systems that cannot produce tactile and additive content as well, ”they explain in the article.
The main author of the prototype, the doctor Ryuji Hirayama, has ensured that the new technology "is inspired by old televisions that used a single beam of color scanned along the screen so fast that your brain registers it as a simple image."
In the case of this new prototype, the system that follows is the same, but "using a colored particle that can move so fast anywhere in 3D space that at first glance you see a volumetric image in the middle of the air," Hirayama explains.
The researchers say that the MATD system could be a tool applied to other fields besides cinematography such as biomedicine, design or architecture.
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