Posted by Himanshu Lohia On Monday, May 30, 2016 No comments
Posted by Himanshu Lohia On Friday, April 29, 2016 No comments
Virtual reality is used in many areas of healthcare which range from diagnosis, treatment, e.g. surgery, rehab and counselling. It is also used to train the next generation of doctors, paramedics and other medical personnel and has shown a range of benefits from doing so.
So what are the advantages of virtual reality in healthcare? There are several which are related to medical/surgical training, preventative medicine, counselling and architectural design of new hospitals.
Virtual reality medical training
Let’s start with virtual reality as a means of training healthcare professionals. It is used in medical schools and other similar settings as a means of education and instruction. It enables medical students to acquire knowledge and understanding about the human body by means of interaction within a virtual environment.
Medical students can perform ‘hands on’ procedures but in a safe and controlled setting. They are able to make mistakes – and learn from them but in an environment where there is no risk to the patient. They interact with a virtual patient and as a result of this, learn skills which they can then apply in the real world.
Virtual reality dentistry
But virtual reality isn’t only confined to medical schools. Dentistry is another area in which it plays a part. For example, there is a system known as ‘HapTEL’ which is based upon haptics (Greek for touch) in order to train new dentists. This virtual dental chair includes a training scenario in which the student is shown a 3D set of teeth that they work on.
They perform a range of procedures, e.g. a filling using a virtual drill which replicates the movement and pressure of a real drill by means of force feedback. This feedback takes the form of subtle changes of pressure which enables the student to adjust their technique accordingly.
This is discussed further in our virtual reality in dentistry article.
Virtual reality and paramedic training
It is also used to train paramedics and other similar personnel who need to learn life saving skills but without placing themselves and their patients at risk. They are able to do this by interaction with a simulated accident or emergency in a virtual environment but with minimal risk. These scenarios are realistic and enable them experience a high pressure situation and respond accordingly.
Virtual reality preventative medicine
Virtual reality is used to educate patients about positive lifestyle choices, such as stopping smoking, moderate alcohol intake, healthy eating and exercise. There is an emphasis on educating people to make positive changes about their health which will reduce the risk of illnesses, many of which are preventative.
Both desktop and fully immersive CAVE systems can be used to demonstrate the effects of negative lifestyle choices, e.g. smoking on health with the aim of changing people’s behaviour.
Virtual reality counselling
Counselling is another area where virtual reality has been utilised. A classic example is phobia treatment, for example a fear of public speaking where the sufferer is able to learn skills and build up their confidence in a virtual environment.
This is discussed in greater detail in our virtual reality in phobia treatment article.
It also used to treat people who have developed post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as a result of a life threatening situation. One example is that of soldiers who have served on the front line in Afghanistan and have become traumatised as a result. They are taught a range of techniques for dealing with the symptoms of their condition using virtual reality. This takes the form of a pair of virtual reality glasses or head mounted display (HMD), data glove and input device, e.g. joystick.
Find out more in our virtual reality treatment for PTSD article
Virtual reality architectural design
Virtual reality is used by architects and the construction industry to design and test new buildings. It enables them to walkthrough a virtual model in order to evaluate this which saves both time and money.
One example of this is the design and build of a new clinic which can be explored using a virtual reality headset, data glove and input device. The user moves around the building in the same way they would in the real world and are able to assess various aspects whilst they do so. This is a safe and controlled way of doing so which is also cost effective.
To summarise: the main benefits of virtual reality in medicine include:
- Ability to re-use on a regular basis/skills refresh
- Can be used remotely
These benefits appear in many of the individual articles related to this section.
#Bio-Robotics, #virtual reality, #medical sciences, #infizeal, #himanshulohia, #gesture, #SuperSmart,
Posted by Himanshu Lohia On Monday, April 04, 2016 No comments
VIRTUAL REALITY – THE EARLY YEARS
Let’s start with a quick primer on the history of VR. VR was created in 1965 by Ivan Sutherland – he created the “Ultimate Display”, a device that could overlay wireframe interiors onto a room. The military was simultaneously researching and investing in VR’s potential for flight simulation and training.
The VR industry continued to develop over the next couple of decades, but appeal was limited to only the most ambitious engineers and early adapters due to the cost of components, and the computers that powered them. Even in the early 90’s, the price tag on a decent virtual reality device was over $50,000. The high cost of entry, of course, meant that it was still very much out of the question for the average consumer.
PALMER LUCKEY AND OCULUS RIFT CHANGE THE GAME
Fast-forward 40 years and Palmer Luckey (the inventor of the Oculus Rift) created his first VR prototype at age 18 in his parents basement. Luckey eventually developed the product that would come to be known as the Oculus Rift. Oculus has ushered in the current era of VR development and breathed new life into this promising technology.
The announcement of the Oculus was followed closely by tech insiders, developers, and early adopters, all of whom had been chomping at the bit to experience this new frontier in VR development. It wasn’t long before heavy-weights like Facebook, Google, and Samsung took notice and began investing heavily in VR with the hopes of producing the first consumer ready device. Facebook believes so strongly in the Oculus Rift that they acquired the company for $2 Billion in March of 2014. Facebook’s founder Mark Zuckerberg stated that he sees the acquisition as a “long-term bet on the future of computing.”
TODAY’S CHOICES FOR CONSUMERS
The current lineup of VR products run the gamut in terms of price and accessibility. You can get your feet wet with Google’s product (aptly named Cardboard). Cardboard is very inexpensive, roughly $20.00. It uses easy to obtain components like cardboard, biconvex lenses, a couple of magnets, Velcro, and a rubber band. Instead of a built-in display like the Oculus Rift, this product is powered by any Android phone running 4.1 or higher (just slide your phone into the “headset”). You assemble it all yourself, following Google’s step-by-step instructions with pictures.
The phone powers the entire experience with applications found in Google’sCardboard app store). There are no external wires or clunky hardware to deal with…just the Cardboard case and your Android phone. At Primacy we recently built one to test out in house – the entire build took about 5 minutes from start to finish.
Facebook’s Oculus Rift
Given the current pace of innovation it’s a safe bet that both the hardware and software for Facebook’s Oculus technology will only get better in the months ahead. The consumer model, though not currently available, is expected to be released mid 2015. The developer model (DK2) costs $350 and comes loaded with a low latency display (the same used in the Samsung Galaxy Note 3). The display delivers a respectable 960×1080 resolution per eye with a 75Hz refresh rate. The unit also includes a gyroscope, accelerometer, magnometer and a near infrared camera for head and positional tracking. Applications are run on a computer which is connected directly to the headset via an HDMI and USB cable.
Samsung’s Gear VR Innovator Edition
Samsung saw an opportunity to jump into the VR mix and partnered with Oculus. They’ve produced a headset that looks like the most consumer-ready device to date. Samsung’s Gear VR Innovator Edition is exactly what you would expect from the established tech giant both in terms of quality and usability. It’s also the most expensive option, coming in at an msrp of $200 for the headset + $750 (off-contract) for the phone required to power it. Unlike Google’s Cardboard, the Gear VR only works with a Samsung Galaxy Note 4, so if you’re lucky enough to already own one you can save yourself a significant amount of money.
The headset itself is very well designed and quite intuitive. There’s a volume toggle, touchpad, and “back” button on the right side of the headset that can be used to easily navigate through VR experiences and applications. The top of the headset holds a focus wheel that is used to adjust the focus to optimal range for your eyes. Two straps hold the unit firmly on your head which seals your vision off from the outside world to improve the sense of immersion. Plus, the absence of any cables tethering you to a computer helps make the experience more enjoyable and portable.
There’s no need to take the unit off your head in order to download or switch applications…everything can be done through the Oculus Home menu or Samsung’s application library after the initial setup and configuration. There are a handful of interesting and useful apps included out of the box such as Oculus Cinema – for watching movies and videos in a virtual cinema, Oculus 360 Photos – for viewing panoramic photos, and Oculus 360 Videos – for viewing panoramic videos. Samsung also recently released a marketplace called Milk VR which is basically Youtube for VR.
THE DOWNSIDE – A CASE OF THE JUDDERS
We’ve found that many of the applications available now are graphics heavy and the experience can degrade quickly without a fairly good graphics card. It is worth noting that experiences involving 3D graphics and rapid motion can quickly become nauseating to some folks due to frame-rate or GPU restrictions and a phenomena known as “judder” (when the images become smeared, strobed or otherwise distorted), so it is really the responsibility of developers to create “comfortable” experiences which aim to minimize judder. Despite the drawbacks – when used in tandem with a computer that has a high end GPU, the result is a sense of immersion that 10 years ago would have seemed impossible. The Oculus developer site currently lists both a PC and Mobile SDK which include integrations for Unity and Unreal game engines. The PC SDK is intended for the Rift DK2 where-as the Mobile SDK is intended for Oculus powered devices which leverage mobile phones.
VR – THE FUTURE IS HERE (OR REALLY, REALLY CLOSE)
We’re just starting to crack the surface with VR. The emergence of panoramic video and photo is making it easy to “teleport” viewers to places they could never physically be.
Imagine a front row seat to watch your favorite band play live…with the freedom to look in any direction in real time. Imagine walking (literally…walking) through your favorite national park as if you were really there. Imagine sitting in a conference room half way around the world and interacting with others as if you were really there. These are just a few of the amazing applications that VR devices like the Oculus Rift enable. So stay tuned – if current progress is any indication, virtual reality is here to stay, and it’ll be invading your living room or office much sooner than you might think.
#virtualreality #oculus #samsung #gear #vr #facebook oculus rift #augmented #infizeal #himanshulohia
Posted by Himanshu Lohia On Thursday, February 11, 2016 No comments
Posted by Himanshu Lohia On Monday, January 18, 2016 No comments
Posted by Himanshu Lohia On Monday, December 28, 2015 No comments
Only a handful of virtual reality (VR) headsets existed when Alphabet unveiled Google Glass, but the past half decade has seen billions invested in VR, moving a technology once thought of as a gimmick much closer to being a part of everyday existence.
Virtual reality companies raised $1.46 billion in venture capital from the start of 2012 through the third quarter this year, according to CB Insights, marking four straight quarters that these start-ups reached $100 million-plus in funding. Since 2010, these firms have raised $3.9 billion, according to PitchBook.
All that money is leading up to what should be the biggest release year ever for new consumer VR products in 2016.
Virtual reality even has its own unicorn — or a start-up with a valuation of more than $1 billion. Magic Leap, which raised a $542 million round of venture capital in the fourth quarter of 2014, is reportedly looking to raise an even bigger deal now of more than $800 million, according to a state filing. The new round would value the firm at as much as $3.5 billion. Its existing backers include Alphabet's Google Ventures,Qualcomm's VC arm, movie studio Legendary Entertainment and VC heavyweights Andreessen Horowitz and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers.
While Magic Leap is known for its "secrecy," what's important for most people is that a multitude of commercial and developer-only models have come to market in late 2015 or are expected to debut next year, with a much broader anticipated audience than gaming junkies or techies with cash to burn.
"We're seeing a change in consumer behavior," said Ed Tang, founder and CSO of Avegant, a virtual reality tech company that has raised $36 million in venture capital and is coming to market with its own VR device next year. "People are starting to explore beyond traditional media and try new types of media. The cost of virtual reality is becoming surpassed by the quality of the user experience."
Altered states of everyday reality
Virtual and augmented reality tours are changing the consumer experience.