Is it possible to really touch something in VRML?

Question:
Is it possible to really touch something in VRML, not just have a texture map that looks like a touchable surface?

Answer:
This depends on whether you have the appropriate hardware to give you what’s known as haptic or force-feedback.

At the moment, because this area is so new, there are no haptic nodes in VRML 2.0. But you could use the PROTO mechanism to make a local, proprietary node to support them just for your equipment.

Within your custom PROTO, you can include a script that manages your PROTO contents and uses Java or the External Authoring Interface to pass the information from the PROTO out to your tactile output device driver. For instance, you could include a one-channel VRML Texture node, to be interpreted as a grey-scale bump map.

Of course there’s a lot more to it than this. There are the issues of how textures, geometry and dynamics interact to produce the sensation of touch. Evan Wies is working on what he describes as “a seamless, VRML2.0-compliant approach that combines PROTOs and scripts. It will work with the Sensable Technologies’ Phantom, and Immersion’s Impulse Engine and I-Force platforms. It should work with any browser that is ‘up-to-spec.'”

[Thanks to Andrew Hardwick ([email protected]) and Evan Wies of the MIT Research Laboratory of Electronics ([email protected]) and Rob at the Cosmo Development Group, SGI.]

Share the Post:
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin

Overview

The Latest

homes in the real estate industry

Exploring the Latest Tech Trends Impacting the Real Estate Industry

The real estate industry is changing thanks to the newest technological advancements. These new developments — from blockchain and AI to virtual reality and 3D printing — are poised to change how we buy and sell homes. Real estate brokers, buyers, sellers, wholesale real estate professionals, fix and flippers, and beyond may

man on floor with data

DevX Quick Guide to Data Ingestion

One of the biggest trends of the 21st century is the massive surge in internet usage. With major innovations such as smart technology, social media, and online shopping sites, the internet has become an essential part of everyday life for a large portion of the population. Due to this internet

payment via phone

7 Ways Technology Has Changed Traditional Payments

In today’s digital world, technology has changed how we make payments. From contactless cards to mobile wallets, it’s now easier to pay for goods and services without carrying cash or using a checkbook. This article will look at seven of the most significant ways technology has transformed traditional payment methods.