I’m sure this will end up having a practical use or two, but just reading about it is giving me the fuckin’ heebie-jeebies.
The ability to shake the hand of a person half way around the world? Haaaaard no. If the thing I’m supposed to be touching isn’t an honest to god tangible thing, I don’t want to touch it. There’s enough shit in this world that isn’t as it seems. I don’t need any more. The ability to feel the things around me is something that I should be able to take for granted, even as a blind person. It’s a very large part of my sense of reality, and that’s something I don’t want manipulated, please and thank you. If I want to immerse myself in something that isn’t real, I’ll flip on the TV or read a book. That’s plenty good enough for me.
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.”
I don’t know how I feel about this. As someone who can see shadows, it would weird me right the heck out if I could walk through a person. I can just hear “Booo!” So maybe I would like that feedback that hey, there’s the edge of Jimmy. Don’t walk through there. Man, imagine the awkward handshakes between blind folks and holograms? You extend your hand, trying to find theirs. There’s a lag. Then they move…and then who knows what you end up contacting.
Maybe we just don’t need holograms at all. They’re too weird, honestly. We have plenty of options for online video. Why can’t that be good enough.
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