Imagine a 3D display that not only provides stunning visuals but also allows you to touch and feel the objects being displayed while listening to accompanying audio. Sounds like something out of a sci-fi movie, right? Well, it's not anymore. A group of researchers has created a levitating volumetric display that delivers a unique experience. Called the multimodal acoustic trap display (MATD), it can simultaneously provide visual, auditory, and tactile content using acoustophoresis as the single operating principle.
While several displays can create 3D visual content without glasses or additional instrumentation, they cannot provide tactile and auditive content. In contrast, the MATD uses acoustic trapping to manipulate particles at high speeds, illuminating them with red, green, and blue light to control their colors as they scan the display volume. Using time multiplexing with a secondary trap, amplitude modulation, and phase minimization, the MATD delivers simultaneous auditive and tactile content, making it superior to other optical or acoustic approaches demonstrated until now.
What makes the MATD cool is that it offers a unique and immersive experience that stimulates not only the visual but also the auditory and tactile senses. The system can trap particles with great accuracy and speed, creating a 3D image that can be touched and felt while delivering accompanying audio. The MATD provides opportunities for non-contact, high-speed manipulation of matter, with potential applications in computational fabrication and biomedicine.
Despite its numerous advantages, the MATD has some technical limitations. For example, the presence of a user's hand could affect the sound pressure level (SPL) generated by the display, which affects the tactile generation and quality. The results of the study, presented in Extended Data Fig. 9d, show that the device provides accurate positioning and focusing of the acoustic pressure around the central point, where tactile feedback is present, in all three cases and both in the presence and absence of the hand.
The MATD is important because it offers a unique and immersive experience that could revolutionize the way we interact with 3D content. It provides an opportunity for researchers to explore new avenues for non-contact, high-speed manipulation of matter, with potential applications in fields such as computational fabrication and biomedicine. Moreover, it has the potential to open up new opportunities for the development of augmented reality and virtual reality technologies that can simulate realistic and immersive environments.
In conclusion, the multimodal acoustic trap display is an impressive technological feat that could revolutionize the way we interact with 3D content. It is a step towards creating immersive and interactive experiences that stimulate not only the visual but also the auditory and tactile senses. Although there are technical limitations, the potential applications of the MATD are vast, and it is exciting to see what new developments and possibilities this technology will bring.
Authors to the paper
Hirayama, R., Martinez Plasencia, D., Masuda, N., & Subramanian, S. (2019). A volumetric display for visual, tactile and audio presentation using acoustic trapping. Nature, 575(7782), 320–323. doi:10.1038/s41586-019-1739-5
Link to open access paper
by oran collins