Before we are able to download knowledge straight to our brains – Matrix style – gaining medical expertise will remain a slow and painful process. That’s fine by most people, who can just go and visit a trained doctor. But what if you are a member of a small team of specialists operating at a remote, isolated location with no immediate access to medical resources? Then you either need to be a doctor, or you need the Computer Assisted Medical Diagnosis and Surgery System. Devised by the European Space Agency (ESA), the augmented reality-based CAMDASS aims to provide astronauts with instant medical know-how.The underlying idea here is to provide automated, step-by-step guidance to an untrained operator of a medical device. A head-mounted display unit is used to superimpose instructional images on what the person performing the medical procedure is actually seeing. A section of the subject’s body is “registered” by the system using a set of markers. The resultant image is then merged with a corresponding image of a model patient.
SmartGoggles is a tech demonstrator, not a product you or I can buy, but it’s an interesting look at a potential future of entertainment devices. In the demo I saw on its stereo goggles, you have the first-person perspective of a giant, towering over skyscrapers. With a game controller, you can punch them and they collapse. As you turn around, your view moves with your head. It worked well enough for me, and unlike some virtual reality-products I’ve tried before, I didn’t notice any nauseating lag between my movements and the view of what I saw.