According to this article by The Telegraph, Disney thinks that 3D television has done its part and it is now time for viewers to have a physical feel of the objects and images they are viewing through Texture TV. The technology that Disney has been testing wants users to feel objects and textures that they will watch from texture TV or via texture mobile phones and tablets.
“Touch interaction has become the standard for smartphones, tablets and even desktop computers, so designing algorithms that can convert the visual content into believable tactile sensations have immense potential for enriching the user experience. We believe our algorithm will make it possible to render rich tactile information over visual content and that this will lead to new applications for tactile displays” said Ivan Poupyrev, director of the interaction group at Disney Research in Pittsburg.
The texture feel effect is created by changing the strength of the electrostatic force which can alter the friction hence the brain can be fooled into thinking that an actual physical bump is on a Texture TV although the screen is smooth. “Disney believes its latest texture simulator could be used to help people feel their way around maps by creating the bumps and curves of hills and valleys.” writes The Telegraph. Disney is known to develop tech products that make the user be part of the viewing. They developed a chair then when used on racing, the user feels that is in a car driving.
The texture TV seem to be limited to touch screens. I would be interested to see if and when the technology will be real on normal TVs where viewers feel the images from a distant without having to touch the screens. That, in conjunction with 3D effect, viewers will become part and parcel of movies and games. I think in the near future when hologram based TVs and phones will be real and combined with Texture TV effects, the definition of reality shall have been forever changed. What is real will no longer be fined by what we see, smell, touch, hear and taste.
By the way is there anyone developing a technology that will enable us taste those great foods in movies and smell the nice perfumes worn by the gorgeous women? How far have 4D theaters gone?