V.R. Is Helping Doctors Treat Cancerous Tumors

Things are looking up for cancer patients — from gene editing to the humble avocado, various forms of treatment are manifesting all over the world. Now, virtual reality systems are making it easier for doctors to treat cancerous tumors.

Once wearing the Oculus VR headset, the wearer can clearly see how the drug combats certain DNA strands inside the cell of a cancerous growth.

The wearer can then look around 360 degrees inside the tumor to see how the drug attaches itself to DNA strands to help dismantle the cancer.

The Oculus VR can eliminate the need of replica training, which is less practical and more expensive. It also provides users with feedback, allowing surgeons to perform more accurately.

“It is helpful in engaging the brain through interacting with a personalized animation someone is familiar with, so it feels real.”

I suppose this means virtual reality can escape its video game bubble and transition into the education industry. After all, there is always value in new technology.

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Dental Augmented Reality Acts As Virtual Mirror

The world of dentistry is now more futuristic than ever. Alternative treatments include some unexpected new contenders such as green tea extract and squid ink. Like all whitening and strengthening products, however, results take time — unless you’re working with this Swiss startup. Kapanu has created a dental augmented reality device that allows patients to “try on” their future smiles.

It works by matching a 3D scan of the person’s mouth cavity… to scans of known sets of good teeth… Once the software locks onto the user’s mouth and teeth, it overlays the improved teeth — and that’s where the fun starts.

Because the program is interactive, users can edit the spacing between teeth, as well as their shape. While the system may seem like a teeth-only version of The Sims, the fact that replacement teeth are molded down to every detail is mind-blowing. 

Once the patient has customized their teeth and given them a preview in the AR “virtual mirror,” the final model is sent off for manufacture wherever it is replacement teeth are made.

Shown at the International Dental Show in Cologne, the dental augmented reality program immediately hit some marks for investors. As an independent operator, Kapanu has yet to lay down its terms for commercial use. In the meantime, I’ll remember to stay off the sweets.

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Use Mind Control To Play This Virtual Reality Game

I recently established that, while it come with its risks, technology isn’t actually killing us. The rate at which developments are taking place is at an all time high. While we may not have superpowers yet, we are close to it being a possibility. In fact, startup Neurable had created a virtual reality game played using mind control.

It works with an electrode-laden headband that connects to an HTC Vive virtual-reality headset. The technology behind the game… uses dry electrodes placed on the scalp and electroencephalography to track brain activity. Software analyzes this signal and figures out what should happen in the game.

The gameplay is simple — you play as a child escaping a government lab by throwing toys at various targets. While this may not entice many hardcore gamers, you may want to think about the fact that you are moving things just by thinking about them. 

The demo starts with a calibration process during which [players call] out toys—train, plane, and so on—and a person wearing the headset and electrodes [can] accurately and quickly select them from the circle of floating objects in front of [them] in virtual space.

Neurable hopes to develop a more complex game without the need for training. Clashing with the complicated nature of the brain, I can’t imagine a more elaborate game. Bring on the mind tricks!

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AI Creates Realistic Worlds From Memories

People have very differing opinions on the value of artificial intelligence. Some are skeptical, while others are optimistic. Either way, there is no denying that AI is becoming increasingly powerful. In fact, they can now create realistic worlds based on their memories.

[The] AI works from rough layouts that tell it what should be in each part of the image. The centre of the image might be labelled “road” while other sections are labelled “trees” or “cars” – it’s painting by numbers for an AI artist.

The AI, called an imaginative neural network, functions on an algorithm that essentially knows what goes where.

[Creator] Chen’s system starts by processing a photo of a real street it hasn’t seen before, but that has been labelled so the AI knows which bits are supposed to be cars, people, roads and so on. The AI then uses this layout as a guide to generate a completely new image.

While developers are trying to come up with a more practical use for the technology, it’s safe to say future video games will be out of this world.

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