Disney is actually making a touchscreen that touches you back

The most extraordinary thing about all of this is that Disney actually has six research labs spread throughout the world and they’re trying to make developments in behavioral science, human-computer interaction, and an ominous topic called ‘computer vision.’ They employ 112 scientists that all look far smarter than any of my friends (sorry Hardeep) and if you think you’re up for the task of manifesting whatever Disney can envision, feel free to apply for a position here.

Before reading the article I had a suspicion on how Disney Research would enable a touchscreen to ‘feel’ a person upon contact, but after reading two paragraphs from their official statement regarding the technology, my brain is hanging out of my nose in sheer disbelief. Here’s an excerpt from it.

To validate our approach, we used an electro-vibration based friction display to modulate the friction forces between the touch surface and the sliding finger. We first determined a psychophysical relationship between the voltage applied to the display and the subjective strength of friction forces, and then used this function to render friction forces directly proportional to the gradient (slope) of the surface being rendered. In a pair-wise comparison study, we showed that users are at least three times more likely to prefer the proposed slope-model than other commonly used models. Our algorithm is concise, light and easily applicable on static images and video streams.

If Disney Research says their algorithm is concise, it’s hard not to believe them. Besides, we wouldn’t even know where to start. Check out this clip from Disney explaining the entire process.

Published on October 21, 2013 at 4:26 pm
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