WASHINGTON – Augmented reality technology is frequently associated with next-generation gaming consoles and visualization tools. But, increasingly, researchers are looking for ways to apply “AR” to new disciplines where improving depth perception could yield big gains.
Military applications like simulations are one key area, particularly since there has long been a direct link between gaming and futuristic simulations of the battlefield. But medical applications appear to be an area where AR can provide an even bigger bang for the buck.
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An example is assisting a surgeon performing microsurgery in aligning his scalpel with what he sees on a graphics display. Supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF), researchers at Mississippi State University are working on ways to use AR to improve human depth perception.
One technique involves superimposing virtual objects in our view of the real world. In the microsurgery example, the AR tool could assist a surgeon in aligning his scalpel to make a more precise incision.
The NSF video that follows explains how this AR alignment technique could be used for microsurgery and other emerging applications.
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