Video: Virtual Reality hair cut simulator "Air-Hair"

I’ve seen many things in the tech and gadget world, but this one’s a first. A robot research team at Tokyo Institute of Technology has developed a “virtual reality”-based hair cut simulation system. Aptly named Air-Hair, the system makes it possible to imitate the process of cutting a person’s hair using a manikin and a pair of physical “scissors” that’s connected to a screen showing the head of an avatar.

In order to replicate the feeling of cutting a person’s hair, the Air-Hair makers attached a small motor to the scissors that creates resistance in the fingers of the user. When you “cut” the manikin’s hair by opening and closing the scissors, the hairstyle of the avatar changes in real-time (apart from a motor, the scissors also come with an infrared LED through which the system identifies the current position).

The Air-Hair makers are currently trying to improve their simulator, but after seeing the video embedded below, I have serious doubts this could ever commercialized in the form of a toy for kids or training tool for hairstylists. I’d like to try it out once though.

This video provides more insight:

Here’s another video (in Japanese):