ACM SIGGRAPH and the Digital Content Association of Japan (DCAJ) have a long-standing relationship, meeting each year at the SIGGRAPH Conference to share ideas and discuss their organizations’ activities. Recently, ACM SIGGRAPH and DCAJ augmented their relationship with a new agreement to exchange emerging technology exhibits between their respective conferences. ACM SIGGRAPH will select one of DCAJ’s technical exhibits at the Digital Content Expo to display at the annual SIGGRAPH conference, and DCAJ will choose one of the Emerging Technology exhibits at SIGGRAPH to show at the DC Expo. This year, ACM SIGGRAPH Executive Committee member Jacki Morie traveled to the DCAJ Expo in Tokyo to choose the 2015 technical exhibit from an array of 20 impressive offerings that had been selected by the DCAJ Steering Committee. The chosen technology would not only land a spot at the annual SIGGRAPH conference, but also receive an award called the ACM SIGGRAPH Special Prize. According to Morie, the high quality of all the exhibits made the decision especially difficult. The technology ultimately selected for this year’s ACM SIGGRAPH Special Prize is a fascinating haptic interaction panel intended to lift touch interfaces into the open air. The technology, entitled “Mid-Air Touch Panel with Tactile Feedback,” is from the Shinoda Makino Laboratory, Graduate School of Frontier Science, The University of Tokyo (Yasuaki Monnai, Keisuke Hasegawa, Masahiro Fujiwara, Kazuma Yoshino, Seki Inoue and Hiroyuki Shinoda).

From the technology’s creators: “This mid-air virtual touch panel is capable of giving touching sensation or tactile feedback to the fingertip. The tactile feedback is created by transmitting focused ultrasound superposed on the floating images. A mid-air virtual touch panel is quite useful for those who are handling food or medical operations and cannot touch an actual panel. It is also quite good in terms of public health, as we do not have to touch any actual surfaces which were touched by other people. ” For more information on the DCAJ, visit the Digital Content Association of Japan website. For an in-depth look at some of the technologies presented at this year’s DC Expo, check out the video below, courtesy of The Japan Times.