New haptic device communicates emotion with nearly 80% accuracy of human touch

by Amy Blumenthal

With the spread of the omicron variant, not everyone can or is eager to travel for the winter break. But what if virtual touch could bring you assurance that you were not alone?

At the USC Viterbi School of Engineering, computer scientist and roboticist Heather Culbertson has been exploring various methods to simulate touch. As part of a new study, Culbertson a senior author on this study, along with researchers at Stanford, her alma mater, wanted to see if two companions (platonic or romantic), could communicate and express care and emotion remotely. People perceive a partner’s true intentions through in-person touch an estimated 57 percent of the time. When interacting with a device that simulated human touch, respondents were able to discern the touch’s intention 45 percent of the time. Thus, devices in this study appear to perform with approximately 79 percent accuracy of perceived human touch.

Continue reading… “New haptic device communicates emotion with nearly 80% accuracy of human touch”

Google is building a new augmented reality device and operating system

Job listings expose plans for a mobile AR platform intended to reach “billions.”


Google was one of the early leaders in the first wave of modern augmented reality (AR) research and devices, but the company has appeared to cool to AR in recent years even as Apple and Facebook have invested heavily in it. But it looks like that trend will soon be reversed.

On LinkedIn, operating system engineering director Mark Lucovsky announced that he has joined Google. He previously headed up mixed reality operating system work for Meta, and before that he was one of the key architects of Windows NT at Microsoft. “My role is to lead the Operating System team for Augmented Reality at Google,” he wrote.

He also posted a link to some job listings at Google that give the impression Google is getting just as serious about AR as Apple or Meta.

Continue reading… “Google is building a new augmented reality device and operating system”

Oppo Air Glass assisted reality device is like nothing we’ve seen before

By Chris Smith

Augmented reality (AR) is the next big thing in tech, with Apple making no secret of its focus on AR features for its products. One of the most exciting AR rumors out there says that Apple is developing sleek pair of Apple Glasses that will project AR content to the user retina. But technology has not gotten to the point where it can offer these features, and Oppo’s newly announced Air Glass device proves it. The Air Glass is light and sleek, but the device doesn’t provide augmented reality features. Instead, we’re looking at features that Oppo calls assisted reality or AR.

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This smart white cane works like a self-driving car

By Stanford University

A new, affordable smart cane guides people with visual impairments safely and efficiently through their environments, say researchers.

Most know the white cane as a simple but crucial tool that assists people with visual impairments in making their way through the world.

Using tools from autonomous vehicles, the research team built the augmented cane, which helps people detect and identify obstacles, move easily around those objects, and follow routes both indoors and out.

The augmented cane is not the first smart cane.

Research sensor canes can be heavy and expensive—weighing up to 50 pounds with a cost of around $6,000. Currently available sensor canes are technologically limited, only detecting objects right in front of the user.

The new cane sports cutting-edge sensors, weighs only three pounds, can be built at home from off-the-shelf parts, and free, open-source software, and costs $400.

Continue reading… “This smart white cane works like a self-driving car”

Atari Founder Is Launching Augmented Reality NFTs on Ethereum

Nolan Bushnell’s NFT arcade cabinets can be viewed in 3D in your own home, plus there are some real-world perks attached.

By Andrew Hayward


In brief

  • Nolan Bushnell, founder of Atari, will release NFTs based on classic arcade machines via MakersPlace.
  • All of the NFTs let owners view the arcade machine in 3D via augmented reality technology.

As the founder of legendary video game company Atari, Nolan Bushnell helped bring arcade gaming to the masses. And now with the advent of NFTs, he plans to bring some of those formative early machines into homes as digital, augmented reality collectibles.

Today, Bushnell and NFT marketplace MakersPlace announced The Arcade OG Series, a set of Ethereum-based collectibles. An NFT is a token that can be used to prove ownership of a verifiably scarce digital item—in this case, a video clip displaying a 3D rendering of an Atari “Pong” or Syzygy (Bushnell’s Atari precursor) “Computer Space” arcade game cabinet.blob:

Each Arcade OG Series collectible is more than just a simple video clip, however: it also comes with an augmented reality experience that lets you view the 3D rendering of the arcade cabinet within any real-world space. Owners will be able to drop the digital cabinet into place and then walk around it, viewing it up-close from all angles.

Continue reading… “Atari Founder Is Launching Augmented Reality NFTs on Ethereum”



Aerohaptic Holograms

Researchers have developed a hologram that allows you to reach out and “feel” it — not unlike the holodecks of “Star Trek.”

University of Glasgow scientists have created hologram system that uses jets of air known as “aerohaptics” to replicate the sensation of touch, according to Ravinder Daahiya, a researcher who worked on the project. He said that the air jets can allow you to feel “people’s fingers, hands and wrists.” The team published a paper of their findings in Advanced Intelligent Systems.

“In time, this could be developed to allow you to meet a virtual avatar of a colleague on the other side of the world and really feel their handshake,” he said in his piece for The Conversation. “It could even be the first steps towards building something like a holodeck.”



The Carolina Panthers’ viral moment was months in the making. COURTESY CAROLINA PANTHERS


People had gotten used to virtual fans—floating heads along the sideline of the NBA Finals or avatars in the outfield bleachers at MLB games. But on Sunday, with NFL stadiums full again, augmented reality took center stage once more, this time in the form of a CGI panther standing on the 50-yard line.

By Tuesday, Carolina’s mixed reality clip of a massive feline leaping around Bank of America Stadium, and seemingly shredding a Jets banner in the process, had drawn more than 10 million views online. The video received more impressions than any other NFL team post during Week 1, according to Zoomph. Meanwhile, Panthers executives were already fielding requests from potential sponsors, as they plan to bring the project back for future home games.


Companies are coworking in the metaverse to stave off Zoom burnout and spark new types of collaboration

by Alexander Lee

During the COVID-19 pandemic, many companies have adopted virtual communication tools to make up for in-person collaboration, but those channels have come with limitations: the nonverbal cues that make in-person meetings useful are difficult to discern on Zoom, and there’s no virtual replacement for water cooler conversations. 

As the pandemic drags on, some firms are addressing these shortcomings by coworking in the metaverse.

It doesn’t help that Zoom burnout is real. Struggling to pick up on nonverbal communication, constantly having to look at oneself and conversing in immobile digital environments are all contributing factors to a national rise in “Zoom fatigue” over the past year, according to a February study by Stanford University’s Virtual Human Interaction Lab. “We can’t just open up new lines of communication organically in Zoom,” said Daniel Liebeskind, CEO of metaverse platform Topia. “It’s just not possible.”

Continue reading… “Companies are coworking in the metaverse to stave off Zoom burnout and spark new types of collaboration”

Facebook can project your eyes onto a VR headset, and it’s exactly as uncanny as it sounds

It’s got a TV eye on you

By Adi Robertson

Facebook Reality Labs wants to help people see your eyes while you’re in virtual reality — even if the results sit somewhere between mildly unsettling and nightmarish. Earlier this week, FRL released a paper on “reverse passthrough VR,” a recipe for making VR headsets less physically isolating. Researchers devised a method for translating your face onto the front of a headset, although they emphasize it’s still firmly experimental.

“Passthrough VR” refers to a feature that displays a live video feed from a headset’s cameras, letting users see the real world while they’re still wearing the device. Facebook’s Oculus Quest platform, for instance, shows users a passthrough feed when they step outside their VR space’s boundaries. It’s useful for quickly dropping out of VR, and it can also enable a form of augmented reality by adding virtual objects to the camera feed. But as FRL notes, the people around a headset user can’t make eye contact, even if the wearer can see them perfectly. That’s awkward if bystanders are used to seeing their friend or co-worker’s uncovered face.

Continue reading… “Facebook can project your eyes onto a VR headset, and it’s exactly as uncanny as it sounds”

First spinal surgery with augmented reality headset takes place

Dr. Kornelis Poelstra, director of The Robotic Spine Institute of Las Vegas, recently led the first-ever spinal surgery procedure using an xvision augmented reality headset paired with a surgical robot. 

Dr. Poelstra and his practice, in partnership with The Nevada Spine Clinic, completed the posterior lumbar fusion procedure on a patient using a combination of Medtronic’s Mazor X robotic platform integrated with Augmedics’ newly FDA-approved xvision.

Normally a fairly invasive and lengthy surgery lasting anywhere between six to seven hours, this particular patient’s procedure using the xvision headset in tandem with the Mazor X robot brought the surgery time down to just under two hours.  

This is because the xvision headset allows for the surgeon and his team to more precisely identify and pinpoint where to place the implants, in this case a proprietary superalloy MoRe (Molybdenum-Rhenium) lower-profile 4.5mm rod, paired with the MiRusEuropa Pedicle Screw System.  

Continue reading… “First spinal surgery with augmented reality headset takes place”

High-tech contact lenses are straight out of science fiction — and may replace smart phones

A concept image showing a contact lens with digital and biometric implants. 

 By Bishakh Rout, McGill University

Contact lenses are the result of an accidental discovery made during the Second World War. Ophthalmologist Harold Ridley noticed that despite acrylic plastic shrapnel shards becoming embedded in the eyes of fighter pilots, it did not appear to cause any harm. This finding eventually led to the creation of hard intraocular lenses for the treatment of cataracts. 

Over the years, new scientific discoveries have led to softer and more comfortable contact lenses. And now, research bringing together chemistry, biology and microelectronics is resulting in contact lenses that are straight out of science fiction.

Continue reading… “High-tech contact lenses are straight out of science fiction — and may replace smart phones”

Apple Glasses could turn any surface into a touch screen thanks to augmented reality

By Jacinto Araque

Despite the launch of the Google Glass project a few years ago, smart glasses are still a world to be explored, and with the advent of virtual reality and augmented reality, this type of product may take on a totally different dimension than imagined a few years ago.

Apple has already had several winks referring to possible smart glasses, the Apple Glasses, of which there are not many certainties, but that point to become a reality at some point in the near future, and that are still an unknown in some ways.

Continue reading… “Apple Glasses could turn any surface into a touch screen thanks to augmented reality”
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