Japan National Project: 3D TV by 2020

Posted on August 25, 2005

Japan has announced an ambitious national project to create a high-defnition 3D television by 2020 that can be viewed from any angle and also allow people to touch and smell the objects. CNN Money explains the goal of the project.
The targeted "virtual reality" television would allow people to view high-definition images in 3D from any angle, in addition to being able to touch and smell the objects being projected upwards from a screen parallel to the floor.

"Can you imagine hovering over your TV to watch Japan versus Brazil in the finals of the World Cup as if you are really there?" asked Yoshiaki Takeuchi, director of research and development at Japan's Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications.

While companies, universities and research institutes around the world have made some progress reproducing 3D images suitable for TV, developing the technologies to create the sensations of touch and smell could prove the most challenging, Takeuchi said.

Researchers are looking into ultrasound, electric stimulation and wind pressure as potential technologies for touch.
CNN says the project is part of a larger national project goal of "universal communication" -- so it isn't just a national project for a cool tv. The idea of adding the sensations of smell and touch to television would certainly open a whole new world to ecommerce and entertainment.