Holograms today are somewhat limited, and when we think of them we generally don't think of something that we can touch.

Researchers in Japan, however, are hoping to change that, and are working on a hologram that we don't just look at, but can also touch. For example, this would allow users to shake someone's hand in a Skype business meeting.

The system is called HaptoClone, and it offers a new technology that the researchers are calling "telehaptics." Using the technology, users can send a holographic message of an image. For example, you could send an image of your hand. These images are sent from one box to another, and the person on the other end would be able to touch the hand in their receiving box.

"Imagine if you were in a zoo, and there was a lion on the other side of the glass that you could have the sensation of touching," said Yasutoshi Makino from the University of Tokyo, in an interview with Motherboard.

The HaptoClone itself is made up of two boxes, with each of the boxes being lined with ultrasound arrays, which emit ultrasonic radiation pressure. This is what gives the sensation of touch. A sensor in one box is able to capture an object moving in real time, and send that information to the other box, where the object can be "felt."

While the tech is pretty cool, the researchers admit that it's really only applicable for light touches — so you won't be able to firmly grasp someone's hand in another country just yet. This is because of the fact that the researchers can't increase ultrasound levels, because increasing them too much could cause damage to the user.

The next issue that the researchers are hoping to tackle is the distance limitation. Certain sensors in the technology will need to be replaced with cameras that can capture the images and reproduce them over long distances.

Via: Motherboard

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