Microsoft is developing a “3D touch screen” which can replicate the feel of real world objects and display them in stereo 3D. The screen uses an LCD flat panel which displays a 3D image and a robotic arm to move the screen back and forth.
As a person touches the screen it creates a resistance against their finger, depending on where they touch the level of resistance adapts to simulate the effects of a real world object. Some of the examples used in the photos are a cup and a ball, when a dinner is run across the touch screen
it moves in a round fluid motion with the rounded sides of the objects.
According to Microsoft, this project could be used for both gaming and medical use, as a body scan could be explored with the screen and an anomaly such as a tumour could be found easily with the resistive feedback. whilst this all seems like a great idea, touch based feedback projects have been scrapped in the past as they are not responsive enough to be relied upon.
The project is currently being developed at Microsoft’s Redmond campus in Seattle, and hopefully a fully fledged product will be on the market within the next few years.