“Haptic Technologies for Direct Touch in Virtual Reality” by Okamura and Subramanian

  • ©Allison Okamura and Sriram Subramanian



Entry Number: 02


    Haptic Technologies for Direct Touch in Virtual Reality

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    Who Should Attend
    Everyone interested in research and development of VR applications.

    Virtual reality (VR) is experiencing a renaissance thanks to technological progress in computer graphics and the commercial breakthroughs in head-mounted display and tracking technologies. Fully immersive VR requires virtual touch of comparably high quality, to allow bimanual interaction with the environment. However, current VR systems lack the ability to convey realistic haptic (kinesthetic and cutaneous) sensations, because traditional haptic technologies have focused on grounded, kinesthetic haptic interfaces that render virtual environments by outputting a force through a robotic end effector. They provide compelling simulations of tool-based interaction but do not allow users to touch virtual content directly with their hands.

    The VR renaissance has been accompanied by an explosion of novel haptic technologies. Now haptic technologies enable compelling virtual touch directly with our hands. The novel technologies employ diverse actuation principles, such as wearable robotic-end effectors, active surfaces, or ultrasound haptic interfaces for mid-air feedback.
    These technologies open the door to many possibilities for computer graphics researchers and developers. Because they exhibit many more degrees of freedom and new challenges for model and algorithm design, they enable design and development of the next generation of immersive VR applications.

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