The thing about holograms is that they always seem a bit…hollow. When Tupac was brought back to life for Coachella 2012 via the advanced technology, fans were excited to see him moving around on stage again. But what if you could interact with and actually feel him? A team of researchers created a machine called Haptoclone which allows participants to “touch” holograms.
Developed at the University of Tokyo, the machine is made up of two boxes: one with an object and the other with a hologram of said object. According to Quartz, a user can insert their hand into the box with the hologram and “feel” it. A Gizmodo reporter tried it and confirmed that it works, as did a Motherboard reporter who said they felt “strange bubble-like sensations” from a hologram of a human hand.
The project is currently in its early stages and can’t produce the sensation of a true handshake or hug just yet. For that, participants might want to try the Tesla Suit—made by researchers at Tesla Studios—which allows the sensation of touch through a full body suit. With each technological advancement, it seems we are one step closer to a Skynet world.