Keio University demonstrate Touchable 3D Character

Keio University demonstrate Touchable 3D Character Projected Into a Real Environment

RePro3D, developed by a research group at Keio University, is a multi-perspective, naked eye 3D display in which viewers can touch a 3D character floating in midair.

The touchable 3D display is a combination of three elements. A mechanically-controlled model environment, a tactile interface and a glasses-free 3D integral imaging display.

“We use retro-reflective projection technology, using materials with special retro-reflective characteristics. This kind of material reflects light that enters back at the same angle it entered. Using this technology enables a display to show images at a different place from the light source.”

The input interface uses an infrared camera to recognize the movements of the user’s hand, and the character on screen reacts to the movements instantly. They are currently developing a system which can replicate the sensation of directly touching the image by having the user wear a tactile feedback device on their finger.

“There are many attractive characters in animations and games, but since those characters only exist within the screen, it feels a little lonely, and so we built this image display because we wanted to bring those characters into our real-world 3D space to play.”

Using past methods to display 3D images, it was hard to perfectly match the positions and images users were touching on the 3D display. But with this technology, it feels like you are touching the exact spot as you see it. In the future, they plan to build a touchable 3D display system that expands the size of the visible image, so that multiple people can be in the same space, and can share the same image.