The shapeShift object display makes VR images touchable

The shapeShift object display makes VR images touchable
A clever little haptic feedback tool made by researchers at Stanford University's Shape lab can create 3D objects that match what a person is viewing in virtual reality. The tabletop display uses 7mm square pins that rise and fall to create the desired shape and is mounted on rollers so it can move about.

The display, called shapeShift, brings a tangible user interface to VR content, allowing users to feel the contours of objects they are seeing and to move them using the shape display. It also takes the user outside the workspace limitations of traditional shape displays.

Passive and active modes mean that users can either roll around objects to manipulate them in the VR space or, the researchers say, even encounter the display in different positions as it moves about, giving the impression of a much larger object. 

ShapeShift is similar to other haptic feedback devices that support VR content such as HoloSuit or Disney’s Force Jacket. But the tabletop option is easier to access than donning a full body suit and may have a far wider range of applications in professional and visitor attraction market.  

Read the paper here