Entries with tag university of bristol.

New Haptic System Uses Ultrasonic Vibration

A UK research team created a system designed for use in public spaces that lets people feel what is on a device’s display without needing to touch a separate haptic-feedback object in the process, as is the case with most haptic approaches. University of Bristol scientists designed UltraHaptics, which , uses ultrasonic vibration to provide multiple users with mid-air haptic feedback. The system works with a phased array of ultrasonic transducers, which emit high frequency sound waves. These provide the force that generates haptic sensations for users as they view the screen. The researchers are presenting their work at the 26th annual ACM Symposium on User Interface Software and Technology this month in St. Andrews, UK. (PhysOrg)(Bristol Interaction and Graphics, University of Bristol) 

Fuel Cell Technology Enables Urine to Charge Phone

University of Bristol and Bristol Robotics Laboratory researchers have created a fuel cell able to convert urine to electricity sufficient to power a cellular phone. The technology uses bacteria, which the researchers grew on carbon fiber anodes. The anodes were put inside ceramic cylinders into which urine was passed. The bacteria broke down the urine, creating a small electrical charge that could be stored on a capacitor. The researchers were able to send an SMS message, web browse, and make a short phone call on a single charge. The proof-of-concept fuel cell they created is the size of a car battery, but they intend to work on shrinking it so it can be portable and fully charge a battery. They also want it to be used for powering other devices in the home and are working to develop a smart toilet. The work was published in the Royal Society of Chemistry journal Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics. (Discovery News)(BBC)(Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics) 

New Display Uses Multiple Screens to Show Images, Video in 3D

A team of scientists, headed by University of Bristol researchers, have created a new display for mobile devices that moves and tilts to show terrain and buildings in 3D. Tilt Displays is a surface display about half the size of a conventional tablet computer. It has various smaller screens that tilt on various axes and move up and down on a vertical plane, which would enable users to utilize it for 3D video, terrain modeling, and gaming applications. The tilting and moving the smaller screens enables users to have a different viewing experience for 3D images and video based on the shifting screen, which imparts different sensations and information to them, say researchers. The researchers presented their work at the recent Mobile HCI 2012 conference in San Francisco. (PhysOrg)(University of Bristol)

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