Yahoo Japan has created a voice-activated search engine that is connected to a 3D printer which will allow the user to actually touch the object that they searched for. This machine is being offered for those children wo are visually impaired so they can actually touch and feel what they’re looking for on the Internet.
Called the “Hands On Search“, this technology was developed to incorporate touch to users’ Internet experience. “The internet is visual and auditory. What if the sense of touch became possible? What does the future look like?” asked Yahoo Japan on its website. The machine is connected to a 3D printer and the search is voice-activated. It will automatically look for blueprints for a 3D object and then prints it through the 3D printer in a matter of minutes. If the search does not show any results, it will place ads on the site to gather the data needed to create the object.
The machine was delivered to the Special Needs Education School for the Visually Impaired which is part of the University of Tsukuba. It will be there for the children to use until October, after which it will be sent to other institutions around Japan. While Yahoo Japan said it will make the technology available for the public, there is no word yet on whether or not it will be commercialized. 3D printers are considered to be the future of technology for both researchers and consumers, although there is some controversy involved, as it can be used to print guns and other weapons as well.
[ via International Business Times ]