With 3D television, viewers were able to feel like they were far more involved in the action unfolding on screen. Surprisingly, while 3D has proven to be incredibly popular in the cinemas, it has not quite caught on so much at home. It seems that consumers are reluctant to pay large sums of money for the privilege of watching 3D programming at home. However, with the news that researchers are developing new technology which will provide viewers with an even more immersive experience, viewers may feel that they are getting far more for their money. This new technology has been dubbed 9D TV and it aims to stimulate all five senses.
What is 9D Television?
9D television is nothing short of bleeding edge technology. After determining that the depth and distance offered by 3D was just not enough for a fully immersive experience, researchers from the University of Sussex in Brighton, England embarked on a project to create a television that combined vision, sound, touch, smell and five distinct tastes (sweet, salty, sour, bitter and umami). 9D TV will manipulate the viewers senses of touch, taste and smell in order to generate the appropriate emotion responses to whatever they are viewing. This means that TV programs will no longer rely only on the content or the actors’ performances in order to tug on the heartstrings
A Closer Look At The Technology
The technology behind the 9D television is based on the idea that different regions of the hand are linked to different emotions. This is a concept that has long been used in holistic therapy such as reflexology and now it is being utilised to elicit certain responses to television programs.
A ultrasound speaker is used to create a flow of air which is then directed over the viewer’s skin. Short, sharp bursts of air around the thumb, index finger and centre of the palm will generate excitement, while a softer, slow flow around the outer edge of the palm and ‘pinky’ finger will produce sad feelings.
This part of the project has already been developed effectively and the next step is to bring the taste and smell elements in. The team behind the 9D TV project have been working on experiments to determine the emotional response triggered by different tastes and smells. Dr Marianna Obrist, who heads up the team says that she is particularly excited about the opportunity to establish a multi-faceted viewing experience like has never been seen before.
When Can We Expect 9D to Roll Out?
The research group have recently been awarded $1.5 million by the European Research Council in order to fund a 5 year long project involving the development of multi-sensory technology like 9D TV. That means that it is highly unlikely that 9D TV would be ready to hit the commercial market any time soon. In the mean time we will all just need to make do with finding the best deals on satellite TV packages from Dish or other TV providers!
In conclusion, the first commercially available 9D TV sets might be at least 5 to 10 years off, but one thing is clear – the technology is available and if Dr Obrist and her team manage to combine all of the senses they are going to be able to create a unique opportunity to enjoy a fully immersive viewing experience.