A parallel Worlds

Sunday July 24 2011 / Science & Technology

Boffins working at a Tokyo research laboratory have developed a fantastic “Palm Touch Panel” that allows the user to transmit tactile information through a screen onto the palm of their hand.

Scientists at the Kajimoto Lab, part of the University of Electro-Communications, recently unveiled a prototype touch panel with the potential to revolutionise our computing experience.

By holding the panel in the palm of your hand and touching the front, an electrical tactile display at the back conveys an electrical touch at the same spot, which can in turn be felt by the palm of the hand.

And there's more. A layer of gel contained behind the screen lets the panel conform to the shape of the hand so that the electrodes follow the contours of the palm and making the sensations even greater.

“This means that while you are actually touching the front screen, you have the feeling that the touch is going through the screen and being traced on your palm,” explains one of the Kajimoto Lab researchers. “So if there are icons or graphics on the screen, they can also be felt on your palm."

This ability to receive screen information as tactile sensation allows for more accurate touch panel operation, meaning this sort of technology could eventually be harnessed to help visually-challenged computer users.

And of course, it could also open up a whole new world of possibilities for computer game designers and players.

The Kajimoto Lab researcher adds: “It will even be possible to create content for entertainment that evokes the feeling of insects or ants crawling on your palm.” (Only scientists could think that  would be a good thing)

                                  A tactile remote kissing machine

A few of Kajimoto Lab’s other projects, include a bilateral device allowing you to remotely simulate a French kiss with an online sweetheart, as well as a distance tickling interface for iPhones users. (So there is an app for everything!)

                      Remote tickling device (but where do you put it?)

For more information on Kajimoto Lab projects, please visit kaji-lab.jp/

Suggested by
Maximilian Büsser