Seeing your baby for the first time via ultrasound is an exciting moment for new parents, but a new augmented reality twist on the experience could make the experience even more powerful.
Or, it could just give you x-ray vision.
Last week, Takashi Yoshinaga, a researcher at the Institute of Systems, Information Technologies, and Nanotechnologies (ISIT) in Japan, posted a video (bottom of the page) demonstrating a process for visualizing an ultrasound image in augmented reality.
Using markerless tracking, the system can sense the angle and position of the ultrasound probe. In another video (below), Yoshinaga demonstrates the visualization and tracking through the HoloLens.
As Yoshinaga notes in the video's description, while ultrasound is a common diagnostic technique, it does require a degree of skill in aligning the probe with the patient's internal anatomy, particularly when visualizing a fetus in utero. Such a tool would make the process easier to master for more novice medical professionals.
In recent months, the healthcare industry has been finding innovative applications for augmented reality with more frequency than other professional fields. The ability to visualize spatial data is invaluable in a field where avoiding an invasive diagnosis or procedure can save time and money, and make for a less stressful experience for patients.
In this case, augmented reality could also add a dose of virtual delight.