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PostSubject: Haptic technology   Thu Nov 25, 2010 3:33 am

Haptic technology, or haptics, is a tactile feedback technology that takes advantage of a user's sense of touch by applying forces, vibrations, and/or motions to the user.[1] This mechanical stimulation may be used to assist in the creation of virtual objects (objects existing only in a computer simulation), for control of such virtual objects, and for the enhancement of the remote control of machines and devices (teleoperators). It has been described as "(doing) for the sense of touch what computer graphics does for vision".[2] Although haptic devices are capable of measuring bulk or reactive forces that are applied by the user, it should not be confused with touch or tactile sensors that measure the pressure or force exerted by the user to the interface.

Haptic technology has made it possible to investigate in detail how the human sense of touch works by allowing the creation of carefully controlled haptic virtual objects. These objects are used to systematically probe human haptic capabilities, which would otherwise be difficult to achieve. These new research tools contribute to the understanding of how touch and its underlying brain functions work (see References).

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