Stryker is using Microsoft’s HoloLens to design operating rooms of the future

Augmented reality has a number of increasingly important applications in a variety of industries, from engineering to retail to interior design. One of the most exciting applications of AR, and the one that promises perhaps the most immediate impact on our lives, is in medicine, where AR can help educate, diagnose, and even treat disease in new and innovative ways.

Microsoft’s HoloLens AR solution is perhaps the most advanced today in terms of becoming a part of the real world, even while it’s not yet a retail option aimed at consumers. Global medical technology company Stryker, which is using HoloLens to redesign the operating room, provides a clear example of the potential of AR in this setting.

Anyone who’s ever worked in an OR knows how complicated they can be. Because they’re used for all kinds of different surgical disciplines, from general surgery to orthopedic, cardiac, and others, the equipment and setup required to meet every need can become incredibly complex and varied. Lighting, tools, equipment, and how patients are oriented in the OR space must be capable of changing at a moment’s notice to accommodate different kinds of surgical procedures.

As a maker of all kinds of products used in the operating room, Stryker has a vested interest in helping hospitals and doctors design efficient and cost-effective surgical suites. The company is using HoloLens to design shared OR rooms that can use holograms to account for all of the people, equipment, and setups imaginable without needing to pull in actual physical examples.

That potentially saves time and money and allows Stryker to more quickly and effectively envision different OR scenarios. Stryker can also utilize 3D to more realistically visualize a finished design and reduce the design errors introduced by much more limited 2D representations.

Other organizations are using HoloLens to affect the future of medicine, such as Case Western Reserve University and the Cleveland Clinic, which are using Microsoft’s AR solution to better understand and teach human anatomy. Ultimately, it’s likely that one of the first areas where HoloLens and AR in general will make the most impact is in medicine, regardless of how quickly the technology rolls out to consumer applications.

Product Review

The Lenovo IdeaPad S940 has its flaws, but the presentation won us over

The Lenovo IdeaPad S940 is a well-built laptop that leverages its tiny bezels to good effect. It’s small, thin, and has a great display, with a cost in performance and battery life.
Movies & TV

Here are the best shows on Netflix right now (July 2019)

Looking for a new show to binge? Lucky for you, we've curated a list of the best shows on Netflix, whether you're a fan of outlandish anime, dramatic period pieces, or shows that leave you questioning what lies beyond.
Computing

Need a computer for your small business? These are the desktop PCs to consider

Whether you need a powerful PC to work done or an elegant system for your customer-facing operation, we've selected some of the best desktops for your small business. From $500 to $5,000, these PCs will help you stay productive.
Photography

Get your photos off your phone and on your PC with these tips

If you haven't already, you should back up your photos to a computer. Here's how to transfer photos from an Android phone to a PC using third-party services and a wealth of storage devices.
Gaming

Minecraft Earth hands-on preview: The next big AR craze Is coming

Minecraft Earth is a new mobile augmented reality game from Microsoft that has Pokémon Go dead in its sites. The cute monster collect-them-all started the genre, but Minecraft Earth hopes to redefine it.
Mobile

Google’s new $999 augmented reality smartglasses are ready for business

Google unveiled Google Glass Enterprise Edition 2, a new version of its business-focused augmented reality wearable. The company's smartglasses ship with a faster processor, an updated camera, and safety frames from Smith Optics.
Product Review

Oculus Quest is the affordable VR rig we’ve been waiting for

Oculus announced that its Project Santa Cruz virtual reality headset will ship next year as the Oculus Quest, and we got to try out several new game titles on the Quest. Find out our impressions of VR without wires.
Cars

Volvo wants to use augmented reality tech to help design future cars

Volvo and Finnish tech firm Varjo developed an augmented reality headset that can be used while driving a real car. Volvo claims this will help speed up the development process of future cars.
News

Apple unveils ARKit 3 for more immersive augmented reality experiences

Apple has unveiled ARKit 3, which brings major improvements to its augmented reality platform. New features include people occlusion and motion capture, in addition to RealityKit and Reality Composer.
Computing

HTC’s Vive Pro Eye, a $1,600 VR headset with eye-tracking, is all business

HTC has finally released its Vive Pro Eye virtual reality headset in the United States, but before you get excited, it's important to note that it's not really for gamers. This headset is meant for commercial and business use.
Virtual Reality

Augmented reality brings VR to the real world in all sorts of exciting ways

Heard of virtual reality, but still wondering what augmented reality is? It's not too far a leap from the former -- it just blends the real world with the digital one in often unique and exciting ways.
Deals

Walmart offers the Oculus Go virtual reality headset with a $30 gift card

Are you in the market for a virtual reality headset? Walmart is running a great deal on the Oculus Go VR headset. Here's everything you need to know about this great standalone headset.
Gaming

Immerse yourself in a new universe with these incredible PSVR games

The PSVR surpassed expectations and it comes with an incredible catalog of games. There's plenty of amazing experiences to be had so we've put together a list of the best PSVR games available today.
Virtual Reality

Getting into VR is spendy. Which headset is truly worth your hard-earned cash?

Virtual reality has finally gone mainstream, but how do you find the best VR headset for you? Check out a few of our favorites, whether you want the best of the best or a budget alternative for your mobile device.