Ear-Tugging Navigator on display at 36th SIGGRAPH

Technology.am (Aug 2, 2009) — An ear-tugging navigator has been displayed in the ‘Emerging Technologies’ area of SIGGRAPH ’09, the 36th international conference on computer graphics and interactive techniques.

ear-navigationThe ear navigator, called Pull-Navi, has six helmet-mounted motors to pull the wearer’s ears forward, backward, left, right, up and down. This ear-tugging navigator looks like a bug-shaped hat.

Researchers at University of Electro-Communications in Tokyo say people follow its lead almost instinctively – pull left and they turn that way; pulling both ears forward or backward at the same time makes them speed up or slow down; and tugging up or down heads them up or down stairs.

The 33 ‘Emerging Technologies’ exhibits include a click-and-drag graphical editor to tell robots how to perform complex tasks such as folding clothes; an umbrella that moves as if you were fending off a downpour of rain, spaghetti or toy snakes; and a virtual reality floor that designers say can feel like walking on snow.

Another Japanese team, at Osaka University, designed the ‘Funbrella’ – a standard umbrella equipped with a speaker and microphone that make the handle move as if it were being held in the rain.

The US$30 (S$43) device can show how heavy a 1-inch-per-hour rain really is, and transmit the feel of rainfall in one town to a Funbrella in another, researcher Ai Yoshida said.

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