Search results for: haptic

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Virtual Shapes Can Now Be Felt, Not Just Seen

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hapticMost people are familiar with haptic technology, even if they aren’t familiar with the term. The field of haptics involves the science of touch, which means that any technology that stimulates one’s sense of touch is considered haptic — your vibrating phone (or tattoo, if you’re a high-tech Nokia customer), your Wii remote that shakes and rumbles when you crash your Mario Kart, or the scientifically fabricated work of science fiction that allows you to feel what you read. This is the stuff Aldous Huxley wrote about when he described the “feelies,” futuristic movie theaters that provide patrons a full sensory experience to complement the on-screen story. Haptic technology has been developing like mad recently, and not just for entertainment purposes. It’s being used to help train surgeons and rehabilitate patients recovering from strokes. And now, scientists have integrated ultrasound into haptics, converting digital images into physical ones with which people can actually interact. Yep, I’m talking about virtual images that can be touched and felt.

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Giant Freakin’ Bookshelf: William Gibson Releases His First New Book Since 2010

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As much as we love science fiction on TV, on the big screen, on the comics page, and in video game form, there’s just something irreplaceable about digging into a good book. There’s no shortage of new sci-fi adventures hitting shelves on a regular basis, but GFR is your one-stop shop to keep up with what’s hitting shelves in a given week. Here’s what’s new on the Giant Freakin’ Bookshelf!

Peripheral“The Peripheral” by William Gibson

William Gibson returns with his first novel since 2010’s New York Times–bestselling Zero History.

Where Flynne and her brother, Burton, live, jobs outside the drug business are rare. Fortunately, Burton has his veteran’s benefits, for neural damage he suffered from implants during his time in the USMC’s elite Haptic Recon force. Then one night Burton has to go out, but there’s a job he’s supposed to do—a job Flynne didn’t know he had. Beta-testing part of a new game, he tells her. The job seems to be simple: work a perimeter around the image of a tower building. Little buglike things turn up. He’s supposed to get in their way, edge them back. That’s all there is to it. He’s offering Flynne a good price to take over for him. What she sees, though, isn’t what Burton told her to expect. It might be a game, but it might also be murder.

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Our Brains Absorb Print And E-Books Differently

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booksI’ll admit to having become a fairly recent Kindle convert, with one major caveat: I only use the Kindle when I’m traveling. I’ve been known to stuff my rucksack with at least a half-dozen books, and they do add an unwieldy heft. So when my mom gave me a Kindle a few years back, I resisted until July, when I downloaded a dozen books and set off for my travels with only a guidebook in the form of paperback reading. Nowadays, half of my students use Kindles or e-readers instead of actual paper books, which I tell them isn’t a great idea — annotations work differently (if at all with an e-reader), and when we’re talking about what happens on page 68 in class, they’ll have no idea where that is in their version. They don’t buy my argument that I think we read better and deeper from paper books. But maybe now they’ll consider it, given that a recent study found that those who read on a Kindle were far worse at remembering the timeline of events in the plot of a story.

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Nokia Has Patented A Tattoo Which Vibrates When You Get A Call

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This sounds like something straight out of Blade Runner, but it’s absolutely true. A few years from now your mobile phone may no longer have a ringer. It won’t need it. Instead you’ll have a vibrating tattoo.

Finnish mobile phone giant Nokia has filed a patent for a device which would be embedded in your skin and use haptic feedback triggered by commands from your cell phone. Haptics are meant to appeal to your sensse of touch using vibrations in the skin. Nokia describes their new device this way:

…a material attachable to skin, the material capable of detecting a magnetic field and transferring a perceivable stimulus to the skin, wherein the perceivable stimulus relates to the magnetic field.