With all of Snapchat and Facebook’s recent talk of mixed and augmented reality, it’s easy to forget that the tech has been used for industrial, military, and medical work for decades. One recent, pretty cool example comes from surgical tech company Scopis, which just launched a Microsoft HoloLens program for spine surgery. You can watch the video above, but essentially, it provides a hands-free display and an overlay that indicates exactly where the surgeon should operate.
Augmented reality is actually considered a pretty obvious fit for surgeons, because it offers a hands-free and seamless way to access digital information while performing delicate operations, even via something as limited as Google Glass. HoloLens has the added benefit of projecting images that seem to exist in physical space as well. It’s interesting to note, however, that the system doesn’t totally rely on Microsoft’s internal tracking sensors. You can see little constellations of rigid-body markers on the headset and tools, offering a greater guarantee of precise tracking — which, I assume, is particularly important when you’re operating on someone’s spine.