A team of scientists in Sussex, U.K have created a hologram prototype called Multimodal Acoustic Trap Display (MATD) which can simultaneously deliver visual, auditory and tactile content.
According to Fin24, the scientists, who are affiliated with the University of Sussex, use what is known as “acoustophoresis” – sound waves that move and manipulate an object, in this case particles – to form an image in a small box containing arrays of very small speakers. It can be seen with the naked eye, heard and even felt without the need for any virtual reality systems.
“Our system traps a particle acoustically and illuminates it with red, green and blue light to control its colour as it quickly scans the display volume,” the team said in the scientific journal Nature.
“Even if not audible to us, ultrasound is still a mechanical wave and it carries energy through the air. Our system directs and focuses this energy, which can then stimulate your skin to feel content,” one of the scientists, Ryuji Hirayama told AFP. “The feeling of the tactile sensation is like a gently spraying your hand with pressurised air.”
The polystyrene bead trapped in the box traces out an object’s shape in three dimensions while LEDs shine red, green, and blue lights on it. Because the bead is moving so fast, the human eye sees only the completed shape — a compelling illusion not entirely unlike the way a rapid series of still frames looks like a moving image.
Good news is that the MATD was created using low-cost and commercially available components, according to Hirayama. “We believe there is plenty of room to increase its capacity and potential.”