The internet is primarily visual and auditory, but Yahoo Japan envisions a future that adds a tactile element to the equation.
Yahoo Japan created the Hands On Search machine, a white cloud-shaped device that integrates the internet “search” function with a 3D-printer.
The machine was created for a special needs school for the blind and visually impaired. Students from the school were gathered to try it out.
A voice-activated search engine allowed the children to ask for something that they wanted to touch. The search result was then sent to a database and the 3D data for the item is sent back to the machine. A 3D-printer embedded in the machine then prints out the object for the children to touch and feel.
If the search item doesn’t bring back a result from the database, it is posted on the Hands On Search website and Yahoo Japan will send out ads to find that data and add it to the database.
Watch the video demo below to see how the machine works.