Sci-fi sonic tractor beams become reality

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In June, we came across Ultrahaptics, the virtual interface which enables users to experience ‘phantom’ tactile sensations, mid-air with their bare hands. Now, the company has teamed up with researchers at the Public University of Navarre in Pamplona, Spain to make sonic tractor beams a reality. The team used a series of miniature speakers to generate a 3D sound wave field, and by manipulating individual speaker frequencies, they were able to levitate a small polystyrene ball at a fixed position several centimeters above the speakers. This marks the first time such a feat has been demonstrated. By altering the frequencies…

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