Large FET Open grant to "Project Levitate"

Associate professor Jörg Müller has been funded for the research project ”Levitation with localised tactile and audio feedback for mid-air interactions” by the FET Open Program of the European Union.

Fig 1: Levitating objects creating the shape of a dog that the user can manipulate, hear and feel. The ultrasound speakers are visible at the top and bottom.
Associate Professor Jörg Müller.

The main goal of the project is the creation, implementation, and evaluation of a radically new human-computer interaction paradigm for interacting with levitating matter in free space.
- This project will be the first to create, prototype and evaluate a radically new human-computer interaction paradigm that empowers the unadorned user to reach into a new kind of display composed of levitating matter (editors note: see fig. 1 left). This tangible display will allow users to see, feel, manipulate, and hear three-dimensional objects in space (editors note: see fig. 2 below). Our users can interact with the system in a walk-up-and-use manner without any user instrumentation. It will be the first system to achieve this, establishing a new paradigm for tangible displays, says Associate Professor at Department of Computer Science Jörg Müller.

The project will run for 4 years starting January 1st. 2017. It is funded with 607.250 Euros.

FET Open supports the early-stages of the science and technology research and innovation around new ideas towards radically new future technologies. It also funds coordination and support actions for such high-risk forward looking research to prosper in Europe. It is part of the Horizon 2020 initiative under The EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation.


Fig. 2, left: An illustration of the Levitate system in use. Middle: A working levitating arrangement of beads from UOS (Omirou et al., CHI 2015). Right: One-sided array from UOS that can translate and rotate levitating objects using minimization of the Laplacian of the Gor’kov potential (Marzo Perez et al., in Nature Comms 2015).