Augmented Reality Solution Supports Surgical Trauma Care

Augmented Reality Solution Supports Surgical Trauma Care

A set of smart surgical glasses with functionality based on augmented reality (AR) and mixed reality (MR) technologies brings a higher level of support to surgical trauma cases.

The Taiwan Main Orthopaedics Biotechnology Co. (Surglasses; Taichung, Taiwan) Foresee-X is a set of smart AR surgical glasses is designed to enhance intra-operative fluoroscopy image synchronization, primarily during orthopedic trauma procedures. Features include image enhancement functions, such as the ability to zoom in and out, allowing surgeons to concentrate on the operational field instead of monitors; reduced radiation exposure for the staff and patient; and improved accuracy by tracking the movements of surgical tools such as puncture needles, trocars, etc.

Image: The Foresee-X augment reality glasses (Photo courtesy of Surglasses)

Image: The Foresee-X augment reality glasses (Photo courtesy of Surglasses)


The virtual and actual images are superimposed, and patient bone structure and tissues are fully visible through the smart glasses. In addition to improving overall surgical efficiency, the Foresee-X glasses can reduce OR staff radiation exposure by more than 60% compared to a mobile C-arm used for fluoroscopy. Foresee-X also allows outside observers to view procedures up close through tablet computers, as the device is equipped with an integrated camera with an 80 degree field of view that records video at 30 fps. The device can also collect data for academic purposes.

“The key to smart glasses is the algorithm. Since each person’s eyes have a different focal length, and with the addition of camera lens focus, synchronization would require the aid of high-performance computing,” said Min-Liang Wang, PhD, founder of Surglasses. “Furthermore, if the surgeon changes position during surgery, the image must be adjusted immediately for the new position. All of this can only be achieved by the development of cutting-edge technologies such as 5G and AR/MR.”

“Surglasses has been collaborating with hospitals in Taiwan and Malaysia to set up a specialized trauma center that includes Foresee-X as part of the equipment lineup. The smart surgical glasses are used for numerous kinds of orthopedic procedures including interlocking of nails, pelvic cases, wrists, shoulders, tibia, and many more,” said the company in a press statement. “With accuracy and efficiency as its main advantages, Foresee-X is the first of its kind on the market to provide cutting-edge assistance to surgeons and doctors dealing with trauma cases.”

AR is a term for a live direct or indirect view of a physical, real-world environment whose elements are augmented by computer-generated sensory input. It is related to a general concept called mediated reality, in which a view of reality is modified–possibly even diminished rather than augmented–by a computer. As a result, the technology can enhance the perception of reality.

CES 2020: Samsung Teases Prototype AR Glasses

CES 2020: Samsung Teases Prototype AR Glasses

Are augmented reality personal trainers the future of at-home exercise? 

Samsung is kicked-off the first day of CES 2020 with a bang this morning, offering attendees an in-depth look at a variety of cutting-edge products straight out of a science fiction novel, including a BB8-style robot assistant, as well as new improvements to their proprietary voice assistant, Bixby.

Among the many products developed as part of its “Age of Experience” product strategy, Samsung also used its time on stage to tease its own dedicated AR headset. The company demonstrated its AR technology on stage in front of a live audience using the companies GEMS (Gait Enhancing & Motivating System) technology, which uses an exoskeleton device to correct a user’s posture and track certain body metrics.

The demonstration involved an AR training session involving a digital personal trainer. According to Samsung, these AR glasses can be used to simulate personal gym sessions, mountain climbing, walking underwater, and a variety of other physically intensive activities from the comfort of home.

Of course, it goes without saying that the products shown are still very much in their developmental stage.

“Samsung will remain a hardware company, forever,” said Hyunsuk Kim, CEO of Samsung’s consumer electronics division. “It’s not about when we release the product, but it’s more crucial how much further we can evolve the technology. No other speaker in the world can control gadgets as much as Samsung can.”

Samsung’s Ballie / Image Credit: Samsung

In addition to new AR technology, the company also took the time to shine a light on the long-running Samsung Gear VR with an emotional video showing how the mobile headset is being used to help visually-impaired individuals connect with their families, friends, and loved ones.

With both Apple and Facebook currently in development of their own dedicated AR devices, it’s clear that companies are beginning to see the value in augmented reality headsets as a potential replacement for conventional smartphone technology.

With CES only just getting started, no doubt we’ll be seeing a lot more AR technology over the next couple of days.

Feature Image Credit: Samsung







Minority report style interfaces just took a step closer to reality

Minority report style interfaces just took a step closer to reality

Minority report style interfaces just took a step closer to reality

Minority Report has a lot to answer for, not least the stimulus given to a million articles like this about the future of the human-machine interface. Controlling internet-connected devices with gesture and voice is widely seen as the future but nothing has come close to the slick air interface imagined in Steven Spielberg’s 2002 movie.

Google hasn’t cracked it either – but it’s got something that has potential and it’s already inside an actual product, the Pixel 4 phone.

It’s disarmingly simple too and stems from the idea that the hand is the ultimate input device. The hand, would you believe, is “extremely precise, extremely fast”, says Google. Could this human action be finessed into the virtual world?

Google assigned its crack Advanced Technology and Projects team to the task and they concentrated research on radio frequencies. We track massive objects like planes and satellites using radar, so could it be used to track the micro-motions of the human hand?

Turns out that it can. A radar works by transmitting a radio wave toward a target and then the receiver of that radar intercepts the reflected signal from that target. Properties of the reflected signal include energy, time delay and frequency shift which capture information about the object’s characteristics and dynamics such as size, shape, orientation, material, distance and velocity.

The next step is to translate that into interactions with physical devices.


Google did this by conceiving Virtual Tools: a series of gestures that mimic familiar interactions with physical tools. Examples include a virtual dial that you turn as if miming turning a volume control. The virtual tools metaphor, suggests Google, makes it easier to communicate, learn, and remember interactions.

While virtual, the interactions also feel physical and responsive. Imagine a button between thumb and index finger. It’s invisible but pressing it means there is natural haptic feedback as your fingers touch. It’s essentially touch but liberated from a 2D surface.

“Without the constraints of physical controls, these virtual tools can take on the fluidity and precision of our natural human hand motion,” Google states.

The good news doesn’t end there. Turns out that radar has some unique properties, compared to cameras, for example. It has very high positional accuracy to sense the tiniest motion, it can work through most materials, it can be embedded into objects and is not affected by light conditions. In Google’s design, there are no moving parts so it’s extremely reliable and consumes little energy and, most important of all, you can shrink it and put it in a tiny chip.

Google started out five years ago with a large bench-top unit including multiple cooling fans but has redesigned and rebuilt the entire system into a single solid-state component of just 8mm x 10mm.

That means the chip can be embedded in wearables, phones, computers, cars and IoT devices and produced at scale.

Google developed two modulation architectures: a Frequency Modulated Continuous Wave (FMCW) radar and a Direct-Sequence Spread Spectrum (DSSS) radar. Both chips integrate the entire radar system into the package, including multiple beam-forming antennas that enable 3D-tracking and imaging.


It is making available an SDK to encourage developers to build on its gesture recognition pipeline. The Soli libraries extract real-time signals from radar hardware, outputting signal transformations, high-precision position and motion data and gesture labels and parameters at frame rates from 100 to 10,000 frames per second.

Just imagine the possibilities. In the Pixel 4, Soli is located at the top of the phone and enables hands-free gestures for functions such as silencing alarms, skipping tracks in music and interacting with new Pokémon Pikachu wallpapers. It will also detect presence and is integrated into Google’s Face Unlock 3D facial-recognition technology.

Geoff Blaber, vice president of research for the Americas at analyst CCS Insight, says it’s unlikely to be viewed as game-changing but that marginalises the technology and Google’s ambition for it.

In fact, this radar-based system could underpin a framework for a far wider user interface for any or all digital gadgets. It could be the interface which underpins future versions of Android.

Google has hinted as much. In a web post, Pixel product manager Brandon Barbello said Soli “represents the next step in our vision for ambient computing”.

“Pixel 4 will be the first device with Soli, powering our new Motion Sense features to allow you to skip songs, snooze alarms, and silence phone calls, just by waving your hand. These capabilities are just the start and just as Pixels get better over time, Motion Sense will evolve as well.”

This is a way of describing the volume of internet-connected devices likely to be pervasive in our environment – particularly the smart home – over the next few years. Everything from voice-activated speakers to heating, light control, CCTV and white goods will be linked to the web.

Google makes a bunch of these (from smoke detectors to speakers under its Nest brand) and wants to link them up under its operating system (self-fuelling more data about individuals to refine the user experience). The battle for the smart home will also be fought between Microsoft, Apple, Samsung and Amazon. Soli may be the smart interface that links not just Google products, but perhaps all these systems together.

Of course, it’s early days. The virtual gestures may be intuitive, but we still have to learn to use them; our virtual language needs to be built up. Previous gesture recognition tech like the IR-driven Kinect and the Wii have proved to be an interesting novelty but clunky in practice. Gesture will work best when combined fluently with voice interaction and dovetailed with augmented reality so that we can view and manipulate text, graphics, even video, virtually.

Just like Minority Report – except without the gloves which Tom Cruise’s PreCrime detective wore.

It couldn’t get everything right.






Sony Is Launching a Location-Based Ghostbusters Training Experience in Augmented Reality

Sony Is Launching a Location-Based Ghostbusters Training Experience in Augmented Reality

We’ve got almost a full year until the next installment of Ghostbusters arrives, but in the meantime, it turns out that Sony is about to launch an augmented reality experience that will let fans use immersive computing to combat the franchise’s whimsical apparitions.

Starting this Saturday, fans who can make it to Tokyo, Japan will be able to play “Ghostbusters Rookie Training” using head-mounted AR devices.

The location-based experience will use a prototype AR headset from Sony, as well as assorted accessories, to give users the power to explore a real-world setting populated by virtual ghosts and demons.

Image by Sony Japan/YouTube

But instead of putting users in a classic single-player situation, the users will all have to work together to accomplish a series of Ghostbuster-related tasks, all while communicating with each other throughout the AR location-based gaming space.

(1) Players in Tokyo demonstrating the AR game, (2) A replica of the Ghostbuster Proton pack, (3) Scene from the promotional video.Images via Ginza Sony Park

And in case there’s any doubt about the depth of the experience, would-be players should be warned that each program is about an hour-long, so only truly devoted Ghostbusters fans should even think of giving this a try.

But that hour-long commitment might be worth it even for non-fans since there’s apparently an appearance by the infamous evil Stay Puft Marshmallow Man.

Image by Sony Japan/YouTube

Sony hasn’t posted much information about how the prototype AR headset works, but based on the video demonstrations the headset appears to use high-end waveguides, which “might” put the headset in the same general class as devices like the HoloLens and the Magic Leap One.

Along with the headset, there are other Ghostbuster-specific props included in the experience that may or may not be interactive controllers of some sort.

Image by Nurture Digital/YouTube

Aside from the Ghostbusters experience, Sony is apparently using the prototype on a couple of other experiences. One experience puts users in an interactive museum of ’60s memorabilia, and the other experience appears to be a concept for an outdoor interactive art project.

Image by Nurture Digital/YouTube

Several scenes in the other concept videos indicate that the headset may also include advanced hand tracking, along with attached earbuds and a large back-mounted module that looks like it might house a battery and some of the device’s computing components.








Accenture : Che cosa devono fare le aziende con l’XR (realtà virtuale + aumentata)

Accenture : Che cosa devono fare le aziende con l’XR (realtà virtuale + aumentata)

La multinazionale americana della consulenza (in collaboraz. con G20 Young Entrepreneurs Alliance) ha analizzato l’impatto economico e sociale dell’Extended Reality. Emerge che aumenterà il valore dei lavoratori e la loro produttività. In media, il 21% dell’orario di lavoro potrebbe potenzialmente essere incrementato dall’uso di Xr, raggiungendo oltre il 30% nell’ambito dei servizi sanitari e sociali, nella produzione e nell’edilizia.

L’Extended Reality, cioè la tecnologia che comprende la realtà virtuale (vr) e quella aumentata (ar), ha un potenziale straordinario sia in termini di benefici economici che sociali: offre opportunità di business ed esperienze rivoluzionarie ai consumatori, ma implica anche in una certa misura la presenza di rischi, sia per la società nel suo complesso che per il singolo individuo.

È quanto emerge dal report “Waking Up to a New Reality: Building a Responsible Future for Immersive Technologies”, pubblicato da Accenture in collaborazione con G20 Young Entrepreneurs’ Alliance, una rete globale di circa 500.000 giovani imprenditori e delle organizzazioni (in linea di massima di tipo confindustriale, ad esempio i giovani della Confindustria italiana) a sostegno, che analizza le modalità in cui l’Extended Reality stia già contribuendo attivamente alla creazione di valore in molteplici settori, non limitandosi più a caratterizzare mercati come il gaming el’intrattenimento. Questa innovativa tecnologia si sta configurando non solo come elemento di rilievo nella costruzione dell’esperienza del cliente, ma anche come mezzo utile per aumentare la produttività della forza lavoro e fornire formazione.

L’Extended Reality permette una connessione più intuitiva, in grado di collegare i nostri sensi naturali con il mondo che ci circonda e le aziende, start-up in primis, stanno sperimentando metodologie sempre più all’avanguardia per esaltare queste esperienze coinvolgenti che sollecitano tatto, gusto e olfatto. Un ulteriore elemento su cui si basa l’unicità di questa tecnologia è il modo in cui i nostri pensieri vengono utilizzati: svolgono, infatti, un ruolo fondamentale nel controllo del mondo fisico, attraverso la traduzione delle onde cerebrali in segnali digitali.

Numerose aziende stanno già sperimentando i benefici prodotti da questa nuova realtà digitale, attestando miglioramenti nella produttività e nella formazione dei dipendenti in molteplici settori. Si prevede ad esempio che la spesa per quest’ultima, condotta utilizzando vr/ar, incrementerà del 46% (cagr) tra il 2018 e il 2023, raggiungendo gli 8 miliardi di dollari. Anche i mutamenti sociali sono evidenti: lo Xr, ad esempio, può contribuire all’educazione di bambini e ragazzi, accompagnandoli in luoghi che non hanno mai visto, fornendo terapie per persone con disabilità fisiche o psicologiche e aiutando gli operatori sanitari ad apprendere nuove competenze. Accenture, ad esempio, ha sviluppato un’esperienza vr pluripremiata per gli operatori sanitari impegnati nel settore del benessere infantile.

L’indagine mostra inoltre che l’Extended Reality aumenterà il valore dei lavoratori oltre che la loro produttività mediante il rapporto di collaborazione instaurato tra uomo-macchina. In media, il 21% dell’orario di lavoro potrebbe potenzialmente essere incrementato dall’uso di Xr, raggiungendo oltre il 30% nell’ambito dei servizi sanitari e sociali, nella produzione e nell’edilizia.

Previsioni di spesa in tecnologie ar e vr. Fonte Accenture

La crescente consapevolezza rispetto alle potenzialità dell’Extended Reality è dimostrata dal fatto che gli investimenti aziendali in questa tecnologia stanno superando la spesa effettuata dai consumatori. Secondo una stima di Idc, arriverà a valere tre volte tanto entro il 2023, raggiungendo i 121 miliardi di dollari. Al contempo l’indagine condotta da Accenture mostra che il numero di domande di brevetto per ar e vr è quasi quintuplicato tra il 2014 e il 2016, superando le 6.000 richieste, mentre nello stesso periodo i finanziamenti per le start-up sono cresciuti del 237%.

Nonostante le opportunità rappresentate da questa innovazione, lo studio rileva che la forza e l’eccezionalità delle esperienze rese possibili dalle tecnologie di Xr possono tuttavia portare dei rischi. Ad esempio l’utilizzo improprio dei dati personali, poichélo Xr potrebbe esporre i sentimenti, i comportamenti e le informazioni sensibili del singolo ai giudizi, al furto e alla manipolazione, in misura esponenzialmente maggiore rispetto a quella esercitata dai social media che tutti noi conosciamo; ma anche la cyber security, dal momento che non solo gli avatar potrebbero essere utilizzati per creare nuove forme di criminalità legata all’identità, ma alcuni compiti di importanza cruciale, come la chirurgia, che diventano dipendenti da tecnologie immersive, potrebbero essere a rischio di estorsione. Inoltre, quando si vive un’esperienza virtuale come quella proposta dall’Extended Reality, diventa più difficile distinguere la realtà dalla finzione, rendendo più semplice influenzare profondamente comportamenti, opinioni e decisioni. Infine, preoccupa il comportamento antisociale dei cosiddetti troll, ovvero identità artificiose, che potrebbero passare dall’intimidire con le parole, come accade attualmente sui social media, all’intimidire fisicamente le persone in un mondo virtuale tramite gli avatar.

Il numero di brevetti per le tecnologie ar e vr è in crescita. Fonte Accenture

Secondo Accenture, le strategie prioritarie che le imprese devono mettere in atto per poter trarre vantaggio da questa innovativa tecnologia senza amplificarne i rischi includono, in primis, l’adozione di una cultura della responsabilità sin dalle prime fasi di progettazione di servizi e prodotti che utilizzano lo Xr, per essere in grado di tenere il passo con l’andamento rapido dell’innovazione; definire un ecosistema di partner con cui lavorare, come neuroscienziati, esperti di salute mentale, sociologi e teorici del comportamento. E infine, destinare gli investimenti Xr al miglioramento della produttività, della formazione e della creatività dei lavoratori.

Lo studio non trascura nemmeno la necessità da parte dei decisori pubblici di inserire questo tema nella propria agenda, suggerendo alcune iniziative che possono essere messe in atto sin da ora, come garantire un accesso inclusivo e a prezzi accessibili a questa tecnologia ampliando nuove e potenti infrastrutture (come le reti 5G) al fine di rendere le esperienze di Xr disponibili e a prezzi adeguati, in particolare per la fornitura di servizi sanitari, educativi e sociali. Inoltre sarebbe opportuno incentivare innovatori e attività imprenditoriali a livello locale, consentendo alle piccole imprese non solo di utilizzare gli strumenti e le esperienze offerte dall’Extended Reality, ma anche di partecipare al loro sviluppo, garantendo soluzioni rilevanti. O, ancora, stimolare la ricerca e la discussione, riunendo esperti di settori e discipline diverse per costruire la comprensione e i principi necessari che consentano all’innovazione in materia di csr di prosperare nel rispetto di adeguate misure di salvaguardia.

La tecnologia Xr aiuta la produttività. Fonte Accenture

Per cogliere nella loro interezza i vantaggi offerti dalle nuove tecnologie, senza tralasciare il benessere dell’individuo e della società, è necessario, quindi, essere precursori e innovatori, non permettendo alle continue evoluzioni che interessano il nostro mondo di sopraffarci, ma elaborando sistemi sempre più all’avanguardia che ci consentano di sviluppare al meglio le nostre capacità e il nostro futuro.