Four digital trends of the future
Digitization is changing the way we live. Almost every aspect of our life is affected by digital. What are the most important digital trends that dental professionals should be aware of and how will they help them to advance? We have identified and compiled four trends to watch out for. Find out more about them below.
1. Virtual reality: available very soon
Virtual reality (VR) is expected to become part of our everyday lives in the near future. Virtual reality is the representation and perception of reality and its physical properties in a computer-generated, interactive virtual environment in real time. From computer games, education and tourisms to medicine: VR technology will become part of many aspects of our everyday lives - both in our private and professional environments.
⇒ VR applications can assist you in the training of your employees, but not only: It also offers you an opportunity to check out new techniques and technologies in a virtual environment. You can also use VR to help your patients to overcome their fear of dental treatment and distract them from the dental procedures.
2. Augmented reality: enhances our perception
Augmented reality creates a computer-generated environment that enriches our perception of reality with digital information. This information can enhance what we see, hear, feel and smell. In most cases, however, augmented reality is used to denote the visual representation of information only. In other words, images or videos are enriched with computer-generated additional information or virtual objects that are superimposed and displayed over them. For instance, if you watch a live football game in augmented reality, the distance from the line to the goal will be displayed during a free kick by means of a circle or line.
⇒ Augmented reality may also offer interesting opportunities for dental professionals – for example by displaying additional information during treatment. Whilst already being used as a nice gimmicky way of displaying additional information in football games, augmented reality has the potential of creating real additional value in your dental work.
3. ShyTech: technology that does not want to be seen
ShyTech refers to high technology that operates "shyly" in the background. In other words, this technology is so seamlessly integrated into our everyday lives and objects that we hardly notice it. Complicated devices involving switches, cables and buttons will be replaced with devices that feature intuitive interactive interfaces. Functions can be instantly activated and they will be all that you can see. Surfaces become user interfaces that subtly integrate into your environment. The functions of these devices can be controlled by voice, gestures or brainwaves. These seamlessly linked intelligent technologies interact with each other as well as with you. The nice thing about them: you do not have to adapt to them but they adapt to you.
⇒ Are you already using devices that contain ShyTech in your work? If not, you can be certain that shy technology will come sooner or later to your lab or practice, too.
4. Amazon Echo: listens to your orders
Amazon Echo is an audio device featuring a seven-piece microphone array. The microphones are designed for far-field speech recognition. After the wake world - which is "Alexa" in the ex-works settings - has been spoken, Amazon Echo actively listens and executes the orders it is told. Alexa listens to everything that you say as soon as you have called the wake word and provides you with any information that you want. You decide when Alexa talks and when it stays quiet. For instance, Alexa may provide you with cooking instructions, remind you of your appointments and play your favourite tunes to you. Or it may entertain your children with audio books – as you wish.
⇒ You may use voice and gesture control in your own laboratory or practice to operate devices and equipment in the future.
The dental world is becoming (more) digital
Do you already know or use any of these technologies and auxiliaries? Or do you prefer to wait and see? One thing is, however, certain: the dental world is becoming (more) digital. For instance, already today you can exchange data with furnaces and use furnaces to make phone calls. Or you can create complete dentures using a digital process chain. CAD/CAM offers a myriad of possibilities that enable dental technicians and dentists to work faster, more effectively and more reliably. Impressive evidence of this has recently been seen at IDS 2017.