Medical Augmented Reality: Now, we are able to understand that through technology we can superimpose in real time on a surface of the body, 3D reconstructions of internal structures of a patient.
Basically, the augmented reality is a technology that mixes recording or sampling of the physical world with a simulated, virtual one in real time.
Believe me if I tell you that you’ve been seeing simulated reality for decades. Where? On TV. The first solution that was found to this digitization was in advertising.
Pokémon GO is a Trap
Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality are not the same, so I’m about to destroy your adulthood to help you understand: Pokémon GO is actually what Augmented Reality is NOT.
They are just painted objects on the image that the camera brings us, synchronized with the movement of the device. If it were able to digitize a Pikachu plush and enter it into the environment the camera displays, then it would be Augmented Reality.
The Mysterious Magic Leap
Could augmented reality be used to treat color blindness? That’s what a startup called Magic Leap recently thinks. A patented application was approved and shows that can be used to diagnose and treat eye issues.
But it is still unclear if this device is anywhere near completion, or even if it works. Plus they are not totally trustworthy, as they faked a demo video titled “Just Another Day in the Office” in 2015, and we were amazed for nothing. Despite the doubtful reputation, I guess it is good to know there are some people working in medical applications (even just as concepts) for our era.
AR, an Emerging Field & Bionic Eyes
Nevertheless, this is not the first treating color blindness technology. There are the EnChroma glasses that work pretty well if you’re green-red colorblind, but for other types of colorblindness, there isn’t much you can do to see colors.
On the other hand, in addition to the entertainment purposes, there are tons of useful educational Augmented Reality tools like Virtuali-Tee that let us imagine that we are near the time to get bionic eyes. And how would the world look like with this kind of technology?
Researchers have created a video that captures the moment a child rides a motorcycle with a simulation of what people with visual prostheses can perceive with a very high resolution implant.
The first panel shows the ideal marker model (the optimum viewing point toward which it is stretched). The central one shows the effects of electrical stimulation; this will provoke responses in both the ‘on’ and ‘off’ cells of the vision (what causes the edges to appear scattered) and a certain stimulation of the axons of the ganglion cells of the retina (cause of the ‘stripe’ seen on the image).
Finally, the panel on the right shows the effects of ontogenetic stimulation and that of a small molecule ‘photo-switch’ (which is chemically modified to become active or inactive after exposure to certain wavelengths). This would only selectively activate the ‘on’ cells of the vision (which creates the effect that there is an edge) and the response rate would be slow compared to the natural vision (so the child seems to disappear in sometime).