A subsidiary of NTT has developed the technology to make 3D images viewable without special equipment, and a glove that allows users to 'feel' the images.
NTT Comware has developed what it calls 'Tangible-3D Technology', which uses twin cameras to produce an easily viewed 3D image. A glove loaded with sensors can then be passed over the image to let the user feel the shape and texture.
"This technology reproduces the physical feel of 3D video at a remote location as well as allowing the viewer to reach out and 'touch' the person or object on the screen by means of a special device," said the company in a statement.
"For instance, a real-time motion capture of 3D images and a tactile impression provides a virtual handshaking experience."
Currently the technology only works with a single person but the company is working on a system that would allow multiple users to share images and interact with each other.
The company sees likely applications including museum exhibits where visitors can feel rare objects, ceramics classes that let students feel how a pot is made and videoconferencing systems that allow users to shake hands.
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