Tricking our sense of vision to see something that is not there has become easy
with sophisticated computer software and virtual reality googles.
Playing with our sense of touch is a bit harder, as virtual reality gloves cannot simulate force.
But, what if the virtual reality was created with small flying drones you could actually see and touch?
We can have them operate under friction where you shove a drone and then it slows down until it comes to a halt.
Similar to the virtual reality images created from millions of pixels,
a physical virtual reality could be created with swarms of tiny drones hovering in space.
A computer program could assemble them to reproduce any object.
Imagine that the stuff would just pop out of the middle of nowhere
and you'd be able to interact with it as if it was a real object, that's really our goal.
The drones could represent shapes, video displays, touch-sensitive panels or any other element of the physical world.
They could be re-positioned by the person immersed into the physical virtual reality
or by the computer monitoring them through sensors on the ceiling.
Scientists say this could create the sensation that we are interacting with a real world.
So we could take apart an engine, we could put back together an engine again and show this for real,
and even then track, if the person is putting the engine back together again
using his hands and touching the 3D pixels, we could track whether he's doing it right.
Researchers say that with advances in nanotechnology,
drones smaller than one millimeter will make it possible to build physical virtual objects, from human organs to buildings.
George Putic VOA news, Washington.