by Dr Eghosa Omoruyi
REALITY….That is no ordinary word. What exactly is real?. That is no easy question either. Besides being the subject of many philosophical brainstorming, what is termed reality today has been severed to several shreds of meanings and experiences, thanks to the world of computing and software development.
Technology has gulped in what we currently know as reality, digested and manipulated it, and then egested it out in the amazing forms of Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality. So that we are no longer limited to just what is in our traditional and immediate reality, No, but lucky to experience reality in other dimensions with much heightened perceptual feelings. The field of Augumented Reality has made the human experience transcend beyond the limits of our five senses, breached the perimeter of our humanness..extended our dominion of the earth…transformed our disturbing wishes into actualities so that what is within becomes without.
Augmented Reality (AR), simply put is, technology that combines Virtual Reality (artificial experiences) with the real world in the form of live video imagery that is digitally enhanced with computer-generated graphics. That is, it is a technology created to augument/enhance what is already existing in our reality.
Although augmented reality has been around for the last 50years, it wasn’t until Android and iOS smartphones came equipped with GPS, camera and AR capability that augmented reality came into its own with the public.
AR, has been the fancy of major tech giants like Samsung, Google, HTC, Facebook and Microsoft… In fact two of my fanciest AR products is the Facebook Oculus Rift VR Headsets and Microsoft Hololens wearable…
These tools start to make the external world feel like an extension of our minds. Augmented Reality tools are widely used in the Military (in the form of Head-Mounted-Displays that troops wear to reveal enemy camps behind barriers to normal vision), entertainment (as in 3D-glasses in cinemas). also used in advertising, Geology and most especially in Medicine and Surgery.
With the use of AR, various computer scientists have developed a highly-efficient computer-aided visualisation and navigation system for taking care of patients. Using this technology, a surgeon can wear an HMD before starting an operation. With the aid of a screen and display, the surgeon can look inside the patient’s body, layer by layer, looking through skins, muscles and even bones. This technology can assist the surgeon to be more efficient while operating via the HMD, as the surgeon can see exactly where the medical instruments are going—just like having X-ray vision. The system shows a 3D picture of the patient’s inner body.
Another area where AR finds its use is in venepuncture or phlebotomy..
AccuVein, a startup company is making the lives of nurses and patients easy by using the AR Technology. As per statistics, 40% of IVs (intravenous injections) miss the vein on the first trial, this number is increasing in children (HOs worst nightmares😀) and the elderly. AccuVein is a handheld scanner that projects over skin and shows nurses and doctors where veins and their valves and bifurcations are in patients’ bodies. These are also of great help while performing cosmetic surgeries.
So essentially this is where we have found ourselves now, using our minds to create tools which in turn transform our lives for the best! Technology has out-evolved us…or maybe we are the ones evolving to our very designs..We are Human Be-com-ings..We are Techno Sapiens!
c.c Eghosa E.O