Aug 9, 2012Science and Technology
Disney's touchy-feely interface

Disney Imagineers; just the name conjures images of the magical and whimsical world of Tomorrowland and Disney’s famous Epcot sphere. Tasked with bringing Disney’s magical worlds to life, Imagineers have now set their sights on changing the way we interact with not only our electronics, but the world around us. "Sight and sound are important, but we believe the addition of touch can create a really unique and magical experience," says Olivier Bau, lead researcher on Disney’s recently unveiled REVEL project. "Instead of making objects and devices simulate tactile effect, we are changing your feeling of the real world. We are altering human perception. The rest of the world remains passive." REVEL, short for "reverse electrovibration," literally changes the “feel” objects at will by manipulating electrostatic forces between surfaces to simulate the sensation of different textures. Though at least a decade away from commercialization, REVEL could change the way we interact with everything

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