Promise of touch technologies

November 16, 2001 | Source: BBC News

The surgery of the future could be done using intelligent scalpels that allow surgeons to feel their way through an operation using haptics or touch technologies.Scientists in Japan have developed a system that allows people to feel the resistance between two surfaces whose boundaries are normally impossible to sense, such as the boundary between oil and water.

Haptics, from the Greek verb meaning “to touch,” is the science of incorporating the sense of feel into computer interfaces. Digital information about shapes and textures allows people to feel as if they are directly handling objects.