Tuesday, 2 September 2014

't o u c h a b l e' 3 D t e c h n o l o g y

't o u c h a b l e'   3 D   t e c h n o l o g y



Technology that generates touchable 3D imagery was unveiled in Japan Monday, with its developers saying users could pull and push objects that are not really there."Touching is an important part of human communication but virtual reality has until now been lacking it," its chief executive Natsuo Koda told a press conference.
"This technology will give you a sense that you can touch objects in the 3D world". It works by fooling the brain, blending the images the eye is seeing with different patterns of vibration created by a small device on the fingertip, said Norio Nakamura, the inventor of "3D-Haptics Technology" and chief technical officer at the firm.

In one demonstration of a prototype head-mounted display, the company showed how the user can feel resistance from virtual buttons that he or she is pushing. Miraisens is a spin-off of the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology based in the city of Tsukuba east of Tokyo.Billing the technology as a world first, the company says it wants to commercialise it through applications in electronics and the services industry

The system can be built into devices in the shape of coins, sticks or pens, amongst others.Company officials said they could foresee a number of ways of using the technology.
For example, if built into a game controller, it could be used to give a sense of resistance in response to certain actions within the game, they said.It could also be used to make up complicated data that could be fed into a 3D printer, allowing a child to make a virtual dinosaur model and then watch it come into existence.

Other applications could include help for doctors carrying out surgery remotely, or navigation assistance in canes used by visually impaired people.

Smartphone a p p to screen for jaundice in newborns

Smartphone app  to screen for jaundice in newborns

 

Jaundice is common in babies in the first few days after they are born. Now a team from the University of Washington is developing a smartphone app that should make it easier for doctors and parents to monitor newborns and decide if they need to have a blood test to confirm they have jaundice.The definitive test for jaundice is a blood test, but what is needed is an effective screening tool, better than the naked eye, to help decide if a blood test should be done.

 

Some hospitals have a non-invasive screening tool for jaundice, but it is expensive and not suitable for home use.

The tool that the University of Washington (UW) team has developed combines a smartphone app with a color calibration card and algorithms in a cloud and gives a result in minutes, as UW professor of pediatrics James Taylor explains:

"Virtually every baby gets jaundiced, and we're sending them home from the hospital even before bilirubin levels reach their peak. This smartphone test is really for babies in the first few days after they go home. A parent or health care provider can get an accurate picture of bilirubin to bridge the gap after leaving the hospital."

To use the app, called BiliCam, the parent or health care provider places the calibration card - which is about the size of a business card - on the naked torso of the baby and takes a flash-assisted photo of the baby and card using the smartphone.

The app sends key data from the photo - which with the help of the calibration card accounts for differences in lighting conditions and skin tones - to the cloud using a data connection provided through the smartphone.

Algorithms in the cloud analyze the data and within minutes the smartphone receives a report on the likely levels of bilirubin in the baby.


 

Leap Motion offers VR mount for hand recognition device, reveals plans for better VR experience

Leap Motion offers VR mount for hand recognition device, reveals plans for better VR experience



Leap Motion, maker of a device that sits on a desk to capture hand movements (to replace the mouse, joystick, etc.) has announced that it is now offering a mounting apparatus that allows for connecting its recognition device directly to head-worn virtual reality gear such as the Oculus Rift. The mounting hardware also comes with an updated SDK kit to allow for the new perspective offered by the recognition device.

With the announcement, Leap Motion has declared its intention to be a part of the virtual reality movement—they want gamers (or other users) to use their hand recognition device to manipulate virtual objects, rather than using a keyboard, mouse or other controller. The Leap Motion device (which is clearly still in need of a name) has been used by developers as part of virtual reality systems, but its application has been awkward and ad hoc—some allow the hand recognition device to lay on a desk or table, others have attempted to attach the device directly to their headsets, which has led to mixed results. With their announcement, Leap Motion is clearly trying to make the process easier for developers.

When the recognition device is used as part of a virtual reality experience, the user's hands are rendered and shown on the screen, allowing for use in manipulating virtual objects. While most report the response time of the onscreen hands is nearly instantaneous, use of the device has been limited to low resolution (in black and white) and sometimes glitches—putting the device on the headset would seem to make the system more accurate and usable.

But, that's not the end of the story, the company has also announced that it is working on a next generation hand recognition device designed specifically for virtual reality systems. The prototype has been given the name Dragonfly, and will also be attachable or built directly into a headset—it is expected to offer a wider range of hand and arm recognition along with color cameras to allow for more natural-looking virtually replicated hands. Notably, both devices could also be used as part of a heads-up display, adding virtually rendered hand movement to augmented reality screens.
eap Motion, maker of a device that sits on a desk to capture hand movements (to replace the mouse, joystick, etc.) has announced that it is now offering a mounting apparatus that allows for connecting its recognition device directly to head-worn virtual reality gear such as the Oculus Rift. The mounting hardware also comes with an updated SDK kit to allow for the new perspective offered by the recognition device.

Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2014-08-motion-vr-mount-recognition-device.html#jC