Microsoft has unveiled a touchscreen displaying 3D images which can be felt and manipulated.
An LCD flat panel screen is fused with force sensors and a robotic arm that moves it.
Microsoft researchers in Seattle say they can simulate the weight and shape of objects shown on screen in order to control how much resistance there is to a user's fingertip.
If a user touches the prototype it pushes back with a small amount of force to ensure one finger stays in contact with the screen.
Once they press against it, the robotic arm pulls the screen backwards and if the finger is retracted, the arm moves it back towards the user.
A computer changes the perspective and size of the on-screen graphics to create a 3D effect.
Senior researcher Michael Pahud said: "As your finger pushes on the touchscreen and the senses merge with stereo version, if we do the convergence correctly and update the visuals constantly so that they correspond to your finger's depth perception, this is enough for your brain to accept the virtual world as real."
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