Home Technology Virtual Reality Generates Cold Sensations Without Real Temperature Shifts

Virtual Reality Generates Cold Sensations Without Real Temperature Shifts

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summary: Researchers have developed a breakthrough non-contact technology that simulates the sensation of cooling in virtual reality and maintains a constant skin temperature.

The combination of cold air flow and light creates a cooling sensation without an actual temperature change. This breakthrough provides a new approach to simulating sustained thermal experiences in VR environments, increasing user immersion.

This technology has the potential to revolutionize VR experiences by providing an instantaneous and sustained thermal sensation.

Important facts:

  1. New non-contact technology provides cooling sensation without changing skin temperature.
  2. This system combines a cold air flow with a light source to simulate rapid temperature changes.
  3. This innovation is expected to enhance the immersive experience in virtual reality, especially in the Metaverse, by simulating real-world thermal experiences.

sauce: University of Tsukuba

Our skin plays an important role in perceiving temperature and surrounding conditions. For example, we feel the cold outside when our cheeks turn red due to the cold, and we sense the arrival of spring when our skin gradually warms up.

However, if you repeatedly receive the same stimulus, you will become accustomed to that stimulus, making it difficult to experience new sensations. This process, known as “thermal acclimatization,” can impede the ability to measure temperature changes when switching between scenes in a virtual reality (VR) environment.

Furthermore, the researchers were able to reproduce the same intensity of cooling sensation experienced with continuous changes in skin temperature.Credit: Neuroscience News

In this study, researchers developed a non-contact technique to simulate a cooling sensation that continuously generates a thermal experience while maintaining a nearly constant skin temperature. This innovative approach takes advantage of the human body’s natural sensitivity to rapid temperature changes.

The technology employs a combination of cold air flow and light source to instantly switch between rapid cooling and gentle warming stimulation, inducing a cooling sensation while keeping skin temperature fluctuations near zero.

The evaluation results demonstrated that it is possible to obtain a virtual cooling sensation without any actual temperature change.

Furthermore, the researchers were able to reproduce the same intensity of cooling sensation experienced with continuous changes in skin temperature.

This breakthrough technology offers a new perspective on simulating skin sensations without changing the physical state of the body.

By providing not only a momentary thermal experience like a sudden cold wind blowing, but also a long-lasting thermal experience similar to the one encountered while traveling abroad, it is possible to have an immersive experience in VR worlds including the Metaverse. It has the potential to become

Funding: This research was supported in part by JSPS Grants-in-Aid for Scientific Research (JP21H03474, JP21K19778) and in part by JST SPRING (JPMJSP2124).

About this neurotechnology and sensory perception research news

author: Naoko Yamashina
sauce: University of Tsukuba
contact: Naoko Yamashina – University of Tsukuba
image: Image credited to Neuroscience News

Original research: Closed access.
Integrates independent heat transfer mechanisms to provide non-contact cooling sensation with low residual heatWritten by Yoshihiro Kuroda et al. IEEE Transactions on Haptics


abstract

Integrates independent heat transfer mechanisms to provide non-contact cooling sensation with low residual heat

Thermal sensations are extremely important for deepening our understanding of the world and increasing our ability to interact with it. Therefore, the development of thermal sensation display technology has great potential to provide new interaction methods. Traditional techniques often leave residual heat in the system and skin, which can affect subsequent presentation.

Our research focuses on the presentation of thermal sensations, especially cold sensations, with little residual heat. The presentation system uses a non-contact method to reduce the effects of residual heat, and provides thermal sensations without significantly changing skin temperature to counteract the effects of residual heat on the skin. Specifically, it integrates two independent and highly responsive heat transfer mechanisms: cold air convection and visible light radiation to provide thermal stimulation without contact.

Rapid alternations of perceptible decreases and imperceptible increases in temperature over the same skin area maintained a nearly constant skin temperature while producing a continuous cooling sensation.

In an experiment with 15 participants, when the cooling rate was -0.2 to -0.24 ∘ C/s and the cooling time ratio was 30 to 50%, more than 86.67% of the participants felt no warmth but sustained It was observed that only coldness was perceived.

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