What is Aireal?
AIREAL is a new low-cost, highly scalable haptic technology that delivers expressive tactile sensations in mid-air. AIREAL enables users to feel virtual objects, experience dynamically varying textures and receive feedback on their body gestures, all without requiring the user to wear a physical device.
AIREAL is designed to use a vortex, a ring of air that can travel large distances while keeping its shape and speed. When the vortex hits a user’s skin, the low pressure system inside a vortex collapses and imparts a force the user can feel. The AIREAL technology is almost entirely 3D printed. Five actuators are mounted around the 3D printed enclosure which displaces air from the enclosed volume, through the 3D printed flexible nozzle and into the physical environment. The flexible nozzle is actuated and allows to deliver a vortex to any location in 3D space within a 75-degree targeting field.
AIREAL is part of our long term vision for creating large-scale computer augmented environments which can deliver compelling interactive experiences seamlessly, everywhere and at anytime.
Sodhi, R., Poupyrev, I., Glisson, M., Israr, A. AIREAL: Interactive Tactile Experiences in Free Air. In Proceedings of SIGGRAPH 2013. ACM. Article 134 [PDF].
Team and Credits.
The AIREAL project has been developed at Disney Research Pittsburgh by Rajinder Sodhi, who was also a Ph.D. Candidate at UIC, myself, Matthew Glisson, and Ali Israr.