Welcome to RenderThat’s weekly roundup of the tech stories you need to know. This week, new developments proved VR’s potential for creating better treatment methods for patients in the medical and psychology industries. The media world continues to jump on the VR bandwagon, this time with Time Inc.’s Life Magazine becoming the latest media partner of NextVR. And an architecture firm and a tech startup revealed they are working on an app to help architects and clients work together more efficiently. Want to know more about what happened in this week’s tech news? Read on to find out.
While it’s no surprise that VR is set to revolutionize a number of industries, there’s one use in the medical industry that could truly help save lives. EchoPixel’s VR technology lets doctors examine patients’ organs three-dimensionally, instead of having to only rely on 2D body scans and images. This allows physicians to see more closely into the small nooks and crannies of the body. The technology is interactive and allows doctors to enlarge certain body parts, and helps provide more accuracy for diagnosing and treating congenital heart defects, for example. The medical VR tech is also convenient to use.
“Instead of having to strap on and off a VR headset in the middle of a procedure, doctors can just glance to the side and see the 3D image of what they’re working on.”
NBBJ, an architecture firm, is developing a VR app with startup Visual Vocal that will help architects collaborate with clients and design projects together. Currently, VR is mostly used in the architecture world as a presentation tool, but NBBJ and Visual Vocal want to make it a tool for communication and productivity between clients and architects. With their technology, architects can get useful feedback from clients, who will be able to experience the scale and environment of the designed space using VR.
“NBBJ hopes this will cut down on one of the biggest resource investments in projects: time. Instead of trying to wrangle multiple people who may or may not be in the same time zone, the architects can communicate with clients through the app.”
Live events are about to get a healthy dose of VR thanks to NextVR. The company, which focuses on VR for live sports and entertainment events, has rolled out a custom-built production truck that can be dispatched to arenas or stadiums and provide live VR content quickly. The truck was introduced at the NAB conference, where attendees got to go inside and check out the interior which features audio mixing boards and a place for event hosts to watch the live broadcast.
“It is designed to “plug and play,” meaning it can pull up to any given venue and deliver a multi-camera, live stereoscopic VR experience complete with fully mixed 3D VR audio.”
Life Magazine is getting a new addition: an innovative video platform that will house all of Time Inc.’s VR content. The magazine which has provided millions of readers with glimpses of life around the world through photojournalism stories is moving into the VR content space to take visual storytelling to the next level. The app will also include content from Time Inc. properties such as Entertainment Weekly and Sports Illustrated, and will cover everything from news to fashion.
“As we look at the future of LIFE, virtual reality is a technological gift that will enable us to show viewers the world in a whole new way while continuing to deliver the most meaningful and relevant stories of our times in an immersive, forward-thinking way,” said Hercik.
VR’s potential to help in the medical field is already being explored, and now new research shows that virtual reality can also help psychotherapy patients. Researchers at Oxford University placed 30 patients in virtual reality simulations of stressful situations, with one group told to face their fears and approach creepy-looking avatars. Within the group that interacted with their paranoia-inducing fears, 50% of the patients were cured of their severe phobias.
“Paranoia all too often leads to isolation, unhappiness, and profound distress. But the exceptionally positive immediate results for the patients in this study show a new route forward in treatment,” says Oxford Professor Daniel Freeman.