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Levitation with localised tactile and audio feedback for mid-air interactions

Objective

"This project will be the first to create, prototype and evaluate a radically new human-computer interaction paradigm that
empowers the unadorned user to reach into levitating matter, see it, feel it, manipulate it and hear it. Our users can interact
with the system in a walk-up-and-use manner without any user instrumentation.

As we are moving away from keyboards and mice to touch and touchless interactions, ironically, the main limit is the lack of
any physicality and co-located feedback. In this project, we propose a highly novel vision of bringing the physical interface to
the user in mid-air. In our vision, the computer can control the existence, form, and appearance of complex levitating objects
composed of ""levitating atoms"". Users can reach into the levitating matter, feel it, manipulate it, and hear how they deform it
with all feedback originating from the levitating object's position in mid-air, as it would with objects in real life. This will
completely change how people use technology as it will be the first time that they can interact with technology in the same
way they would with real objects in their natural environment.

We will draw on our understanding of acoustics to implement all of the components in a radically new approach. In particular,
we will draw on ultrasound beam-forming and manipulation techniques to create acoustic forces that can levitate particles
and to provide directional audio cues. By using a phased array of ultrasound transducers, the team will create levitating
objects that can be individually controlled and at the same time create tactile feedback when the user manipulates these
levitating objects. We will then demonstrate that the levitating atoms can each become sound sources through the use of
parametric audio with our ultrasound array serving as the carrier of the audible sound. We will visually project onto the objects to create a rich multimodal display floating in space."
Leaflet | Map data © OpenStreetMap contributors, Credit: EC-GISCO, © EuroGeographics for the administrative boundaries

Coordinator

UNIVERSITY OF GLASGOW

Address

University Avenue
G12 8qq Glasgow

United Kingdom

Activity type

Higher or Secondary Education Establishments

EU Contribution

€ 705 685

Participants (5)

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CHALMERS TEKNISKA HOEGSKOLA AB

Sweden

EU Contribution

€ 529 750

AARHUS UNIVERSITET

Denmark

EU Contribution

€ 83 213,73

THE UNIVERSITY OF SUSSEX

United Kingdom

EU Contribution

€ 669 365

ULTRAHAPTICS LIMITED

United Kingdom

EU Contribution

€ 487 820

UNIVERSITAET BAYREUTH

Germany

EU Contribution

€ 524 036,27

Project information

Grant agreement ID: 737087

Status

Ongoing project

  • Start date

    1 January 2017

  • End date

    31 December 2020

Funded under:

H2020-EU.1.2.1.

  • Overall budget:

    € 2 999 870

  • EU contribution

    € 2 999 870

Coordinated by:

UNIVERSITY OF GLASGOW

United Kingdom