Video: Haptoclone Offers Next-Gen Touch Technology

Jan 3, 2016 10:29 AM PST

LOS ANGELES — It’s big, bulky, and not yet ready for prime time, but the latest developments in an ongoing university project portend the future of telepresence — adding touch to remote video vision.

As 2016 gets underway, a number of virtual reality technologies are easing closer to market reality, bringing the future into the present, with some of the most stimulating examples applicable to adult entertainment — such as new tools that provide a sensation of interactive touch to virtual objects.

Last year, XBIZ examined Ultrahaptics, a system developed at the University of Bristol, that used tightly focused ultrasound waves to “pump” air against the users fingertips, providing the sensation of touch.

Taking a similar approach is Haptoclone, developed at the University of Tokyo.

“I was skeptical. Two cubes sat side-by-side, looking like stripped-down 3D printers. I sat in front of one as instructed, and reached my hand inside, toward a floating disembodied finger,” Alissa Walker wrote for Gizmodo. “Just at the moment I knew I’d stab through the illusion, I had the ultimate ‘E.T. phone home’ moment — I swear I could feel the other finger pressing on mine.”

Haptoclone uses 1992 ultrasonic transducers arrayed on the inside of a cube to emulate directional and volumetric forces imparted by an internal action, which is instantaneously replicated in another cube — whether it is on another bench in the same lab, or around the world via Internet — imparting a realistic sensation of touch between users.

Fueling this illusion is a holographic-style mirror system adding visual cues to boost the perceived detail of the objects “felt” by users. Walker explains this physical sensation provides a convincing impression that you are interacting with a real object or person, with an obvious market suited to the technology.

“I could easily see how this could soon be the next generation of enhanced video chat,” Walker added. “You know, when you actually want to reach out and touch someone.”

While Ultrahaptics, Haptoclone and other technologies are far from being installed in your favorite cam studio, their immense potential as ingredients in the future of totally immersive adult entertainment are tantalizing to say the least, which users will discover the first time they feel their favorite performer kiss them on the cheek — with the sensation of a warm breath accompanying the kiss, adding to the illusion.

If you can’t wait for the future to arrive, the current state of the art in VR and adult haptic technology, plus its integration with live cam services, will be on display at the upcoming 2016 XBIZ Show in Hollywood, set for Jan. 12-15.

For more information, visit XBIZShow.com.

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