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Katie Couric is going to love this!

May 11, 2012

A brief look at how 3D technology is going to transform health care and other industries outside of entertainment.

 

Last night, I had the privilege of sitting on a panel with some real trailblazers in 3D. It was an event to discuss the “Growing Pains” of 3D sponsored by the Technology Association of Georgia’s Entertainment Society and hosted by Crawford Media Services. I was joined on the panel by:

– Moderator, George deGolian of Crawford Media

– Eric Deren of Dzignlight Studios

– Mills Vautrot of Reach 3D

– Dr. Carroll Lastinger of Vizitech USA, and

– Andrew Enyart of Crawford Media

There was a lively discussion around the state of 3D in Hollywood with Eric (credits include: Gnomeo & Juliet 3D, Spiderman 3D, Titanic 3D), the latest in 3D production/VFX technology with Andrew, and of course my favorite subject – mobile 3D content. I’ll probably go into additional detail about the entertainment-related discussion in another post, but I wanted to take a moment to focus on how other industries are leveraging 3D technology today.

What I found exceptionally fascinating about the evening was learning about how Mills and Dr. Carroll are applying 3D technology to the fields of health care and education. I assure you I won’t do justice to the cutting edge work they are both doing, but I’ll try to give an overview nonetheless:

3D in Medicine

Mills described how some surgeons are now using stereoscopic 3D for laparoscopic and robotic surgery in their operating rooms. While I found that exciting in and of itself, he went on to further discuss the limitations of these systems and how Reach 3D is helping to dramatically increase their value, functionality and efficacy. For example, one of these limitations includes the inability for anyone but the operating surgeon to view the stereo 3D output during a procedure. This effectively limits the overall benefits (e.g. accuracy, speed, experiential gains, etc.) of the added depth-of-field view since the other nurses and physicians in the OR can only view a 2D feed. Reach 3D has been developing a solution to enable the 3D feed to be viewed on multiple 3D screens, recorded for educational purposes, and leveraged to provide overall better care for the patient undergoing surgery. For more information on this, click here.

3D in Education

Dr. Carroll gave an overview of how Vizitech is using 3D technology to enhance educational techniques in the classroom and other learning venues. His company has been studying the neurological impact of using 3D technology as a tool to engage students on a level virtually unattainable by any other classroom-based methods today. Dr. Carroll described how using 3D models within ones “haptic window” (the area within your immediate reach, if I recall correctly), stimulates a set of neurons that are not typically engaged using the “tell me / show me” teaching methods. Stimulating these particular neurons apparently improves retention and recall rates that are orders of magnitude better than “tell me / show me.” He also provided metrics from cross-industry studies showing quantifiable benefits like: mistake reduction %, operational cost savings and test score improvements. You can learn more on their website here.

3D in Conclusion

During the discussion, it became readily apparent that we are just scratching the surface in ways 3D technology can and will be effectively leveraged across multiple industries outside of entertainment. Since processing 3D images requires active engagement of the brain, the 3D format requires viewers to naturally be more attentive to whatever content is being presented. Increased attentiveness leads to higher engagement, and higher engagement leads to better information retention.

Marketers…are you listening?

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