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Webmonkey Blog
Friday, 4 July 2003
Reach out and touch some one
Mood:  party time!
Now Playing: The sound of leaf blowers

Happy 4th of July to one and all. We're spending the day at a big fancy house in Marin, grilling up soy-based bratwurst and drinking hearty ales with names we can't pronounce.

But seriously folks, did you see the Wired News story about the recording and transmission of touch over the Internet? The applications are endless, for sure. The technology is known as haptics, and it involves some gloves, some software modelling, and a little bit of imagination.

Does anyone remember the stink that a couple of companies made a few years ago when they announced the ability to transmit smell over the Internet? The devices never took off, so hopefully the haptic technology will. Finally, we can rent movies and watch them in Feel-A-Round. Imagine the Matrix.. ugh!

Posted by michael calore at 8:26 AM PDT
Post Comment | View Comments (1) | Permalink

Tuesday, 22 July 2003 - 7:34 AM PDT

Name: Jaysin McKenzie

The recording and transmission of touch (known as haptics) is not a new technology, in fact, it is quite old and boring by now. Back in 1994 I was involved with a small company in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada that was working exclusively on Haptic Response Technology (the only one in Canada at the time that was researching it). The company was Digital Image FX (which also opened up the first VR lab in Canada named ARTIC), and they were specifically concentrating on virtual surgery via a dedicated network which would allow surgeons to perform operations from anywhere in the world. We also used "The Phantom", developed by MIT... a truly cool piece of machinery, but this story makes it sound like all this haptic stuff is new... it's not. At the time we were doing the research and programming of this technology, nobody really cared at all... and we even had the Prime Minister launch the VR Lab. We were doing VR surgery and there was no excitement... and now their use for this incredible idea is to experience Tiger Woods and GOLF!? Come on... get real.

Anyway, I just thought to mention that since it seems that people kick up a tonne of excitement over this "new" technology and this just isn't new.

Jaysin McKenzie
Toronto, Ontario

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