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New invention will let you feel virtual objects

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By getting blown

Virtual reality is cool and all, but you can't actually physically feel what's happening in these experiences. It's all happening in your head, but Disney is looking to change that with Aireal, a new invention that blows puffs of air at people to simulate a tactile experience.

The little device was created by PhD student Rajinder Sodhi and Disney Researcher Ivan Poupyrev, and it can be placed on your television or even on a iPad. Fast Company claims Aireal is able to simulate anything, from buttons to touch in midair, to mimicking the feel of water, stone, and sand. 

"The sensation is quite pleasant," Poupyrev stated. "It’s not like air blowing onto your body. The air ring is a traveling low-pressure bubble. When it collapses, the air from outside rushes in, and it creates force at this particular point. It’s [a] very localized, sharp puff of air."

The tech is in its early phases, so the response time is rather low right now. Of course that will improve with further advancements, and I'm obviously quite interested to see how this could work with gaming. 

Disney’s Crazy Invention Lets You Feel Phantom Objects Floating In Air [Fast Company]


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