Once The New York Times gave out Google Cardboards with its newspapers, it was clear virtual reality was going mainstream. But now that Facebook’s Oculus Rift just became available for pre-order, virtual reality is going to become a booming industry. With really sophisticated devices on the market, it might have its biggest year ever in 2016.
Vedavi, a medical animation studio working closely with the University of Zurich, wants students to drop the heavy books and plastic models and pick up a pair of Oculus Touch controllers later this year with their highly detailed anatomy software, VR Human Anatomy.
The software, which is touted to “overcome the stereotype of the complexity of [learning] the human anatomy,” lets you literally pick apart the human body with your hands and inspect it naturally. While it’s meticulously labeled—just like you’d find in an anatomy textbook—the added benefit here is clear: being able to manipulate the body parts from any angle is something that medical students have been doing with plastic models for years, but no such model can show you realtime interactions, or pop back into place when you’re finished with it, and you’d be hard pressed to find one that is as detailed and complete as a virtual aide.
The software is currently in preliminary testing at a workstation at the University of Zurich’s Faculty of Anatomy, allowing medical students to give direct feedback to the studio. One of the features students have been asking for the most is an interactive model of muscles that shows how they relate to the skeletal structure.
Muscle function, including animations to see how they contract, is also planned for the preliminary release. Ligaments, blood vessels, organs, the nervous system, almost everything you can think of is on the Vedavi’s ‘to do’ list however.