Digital technologies are blending the real world with the digital world. Mixed Reality is one of the magical concepts involved in this process. It is conjured up by looking through smartglasses. Will this type of innovation have a place in the dental world?
Blending real and virtual worlds
Smartglasses such as the Microsoft HoloLens blend the real world with the digital world. To work with these smartglasses, the wearer first has to stretch out their hand and make a fist and then open it again. This activates the smartglasses. Then a voice starts to instruct the eyeglass wearer on what to do. The user follows the instructions and carries out the necessary working steps: for example, to repair a forklift or measure out a staircase in order to install a stairlift. In contrast to a computer game, the forklift and the stairs are real. They are right in front of the user – and like all the surroundings – they are always visible for the eyeglass wearer. At the same time, the smartglasses project arrows and other helpful signs into the field of vision of the user. The goggles show the user where the forklift needs to be repaired and the part that needs to be replaced – or provides information about the dimensions of the staircase.
Efficient in every way
Smartglasses are designed to make people faster and more efficient. For example, they eliminate the need to comb through extensive user manuals. All the required data is transferred to the field of vision as seen through the smartglasses in real time. Furthermore, the risk of error is reduced to a minimum, because every step is carried out under professional guidance. Many businesses hope that this technology will help to standardize processes – and optimize profitability. An additional benefit: Products and services can be presented to customers in a clear and realistic way – for example, the stairlift, which does not yet exist in the real world, can be virtually installed.
Smartglasses are essentially small wireless computers that sit on the bridge of your nose. They are connected to the Internet by means of sensors and cameras. Smartglasses are capable of projecting objects (3D holograms) into the field of vision of the wearer, who can then interact with them. Technology companies produce the apps that are necessary to use this type of eyewear.
HoloLens from Microsoft was introduced throughout the world in 2015 The development of competitive products is expected in the near future.
Smartglasses are gaining ground
At present, the technology behind the concept of Mixed Reality is still in its infancy. Nevertheless, this is bound to change soon, since this technology has shown itself to be viable and it is already showing the way: Smartglasses are gaining ground. This is evident in many different walks of life and fields of activity: for example, e-learning, industry or medicine. Therefore, it is quite realistic to predict that this technology will eventually find its way into dental practices and dental laboratories.
Your opinion is important to us
What do you think about new technologies and devices such as the ones mentioned? Do you think that innovations such as smartglasses are significant for the future of dentistry? If so, what type of real benefits do you expect from this type of system? We look forward to hearing your opinion .
Are you interested in other digital topics? If so, you might like to read the latest issue of Reflect!