Augmented reality and virtual reality together pose to be two of the leading future technologies. Although it may seem like they both belong to niche sectors, the prominence of them into the technology space will see them being used and integrated into everyday objects more regularly.
Image source- UWMadScience
Both technologies have made significant headway into the gaming industry, changing the interface and user experience of games. AR technology has already made it onto our smart devices thanks to gaming apps like Pokemon Go, and VR has changed gaming and its device features, totally transforming the gamer from this world into another.
As much as both of these technologies are great, they do still pose some small limitations which stop them from feeling completely realistic. There is always room for improvement; however, with these types of technologies, as we begin to use them more, we begin to understand them better, resulting in fine-tuning a better experience for ourselves.
The adoption of both technologies can also be used in medicine, which can be great for physical injury recovery. Researchers at Cornell University and the University of Wisconsin-Madison have developed a wristband that houses four thermal sensors which promise to offer higher detailed hand tracking in AR and VR movements.
The device itself is named Finger Trak. The device is capable of capturing hand movements and from which the data is transferred through to a threaded Raspberry Pi-powered device which is connected to a computer. The computer then runs a deep learning model which has the ability to predict all 20 finger joint positions.
The thermal cameras are able to track the movements of the top, bottom, left and right parts of the user's hands. It then merges each image into a single stitched thermal image present in real-time. As the device uses thermal images to track hand movement, the system is able to conduct a more precise hand tracking in comparison to other device options currently on the market.
The wrist band also gives the user the ability to control a robotic arm in real-time mimicking the same movements. The technology of this scale could prove to be incredibly useful in various dangerous situations such as bomb defusal or in other hazardous environments. Looking further down into the future with tech like this, it could also provide primary medical care remotely. But how has VR and AR technology changed gaming and medicine?
AR & VR in Gaming
AR and VR technology is set to redefine the gaming industry in a range of different ways with its revolutionary actions. The first way it will do is by helping to revive 3D gaming. Although 3D gaming is not a new concept, it has lost its appeal to many. However, the use of these two technologies could bring 3D technology back by providing players with enhanced 3D effects, helping them feel immersed.
The use of AR and VR will also offer a more captive experience for the player, which has become a changing demand for the gaming sector with the help of such technologies. Real-time interaction also creates thrill as adding together the virtual and the real world creates a dream-like path for users.
AR & VR in Medicine
AR and VR technology is one of the most forward-thinking technologies that has helped evolve medical care in several countries and ways. The technology allows medical professionals to see and be educated better than before. By having a better understanding of the human body through the use of these technologies means students can visualise anatomy in a new way.
Wrist bands like this can also be great for patients who have lost limbs or have neurological problems. AR and VR technology could help build and offer new experiences.
It's safe to say that not too long ago AR and VR technology seemed to be a far fetched concept and which we didn't realise would have such a revolutionary impact on our lives today. The technology space is forever growing, and as we move forward, the possibilities really do seem endless in this sector.