A new augmented reality system lets physiotherapy students see inside the human body by projecting different layers of muscles and bones over the top of a volunteer “patient.”
The technology, called the Augmented Studio, is designed to enhance the teaching of physiotherapy, in which students currently use their knowledge of anatomy to understand how muscles work beneath the skin of patients they can’t see into. But the Augmented Studio bridges the gap between that theory and practice.
‘Underneath our skin’
By using tracking sensors mounted on a scaffold it projects images of our muscles and skeleton directly onto a volunteer. The images automatically follow the shape and movement of the body, giving students in the studio space an interactive all-round view of how our bodies work. It can even allow them and their teachers to “draw” on the projected image to make information and action more explicit.
“What we are doing is overlaying virtual models of what we look like underneath our skin and synchronizing that with real human action,” says Thuong Hoang, a research fellow at the Microsoft Research Centre for Social Natural Users Interfaces at the University of Melbourne.
The Augmented Studio was built by Hoang, computer engineer Zaher Joukhadar, and doctoral student Martin Reinoso, who adapted Microsoft’s Kinect body sensing and tracking device as well as “RoomAlive” projection technology; both of which were originally designed for computer gaming.
By Andrew Trounson-Melbourne | Futurity
Image Credit: Getty Images