Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality: Their Use in Health and Education in the Montreal Market.

Montreal is recognized for its desire to develop its horizons technology wise. Every day people are working to develop and create new technologies or advances in old technologies. Virtual reality is known, or at least heard of by almost everyone. Initially known in the gaming community but has so many other purposes. A more recent innovation in the same domain is the augmented reality, similar in technology as the virtual reality but different in its use. Three sectors are the main users of VR and AR, video gaming, live events, and entertainment. Here we will see how both technologies are used in different sectors of activity like health and education in Montreal.

Virtual reality and augmented reality , are making a transformational impact on several activity sectors. They are not new technologies but their recent advancements in the last few years have made them one to be recognized worldwide. VR and AR are destined to transform dramatically applications in various economic fields. Multiple fascinating prospect usage across these fields can be seen, including the development of specialized skills, live surgical procedures, and scientific research or discoveries.

What Virtual Reality is?

An immersive experience that takes the user into an imaginary computer-generated world, as much as possible, looking like reality or realistic fantasy. It includes mainly auditory and visual responses in three dimensions. It requires either a virtual reality headset or a multi-projected environment, a person using this technology is able the look around the artificial world, move around in it and interact with virtual items in real time.

What Augmented Reality is?

It consists in enriching the present world with virtual visual information by overlaying a digital image or environment over the existing real one that the users can interact with. Usually using a phone or a tablet.

Different fields and their application of the technology Training: The use of VR and AR for technical training purposes. Operational benefits for organizations:

  • Increase in profits
  • Reduction of the number of instructors required per students
  • Removal of the need to acquire or rent expensive training equipment
  • Decrease risks of equipment damage or injury to workers or students during training

Benefits for learners:

  • Increased motivation
  • Better knowledge retention because training is more effective
  • Multi-user real-time interconnection
  • Mobility
  • Safe environment to learn from mistakes/ possibility to restart without damage if needed

People with virtual reality goggles

Education : The use of VR for an educational purpose by giving a life-like virtual situation.Built on recent advances in virtual reality and artificial intelligence to design virtual environments for learning complex processes. Schools : Quebec schools developed a project to use VR to reinforce empathy and interpersonal skills to fight bullying. The Launch of Ateliers 360 has been well received in high schools so far.In comparison with young kids in elementary schools where expressing your emotions or needs and how you talk to a classmate is part of the learning experience from kindergarten to grade 6. High school kids needed a way to connect with what they were taught and the best way to make it happen has to use technology, which proved to be really receptive to this group of age. Work: Another situation where virtual reality is used, which was initiated by Ville de Québec and spread around the province, was the training of police officers, firefighters and ambulance attendants. They were joined to learn to work together and collaborate in an emergency situationby effectively managing a potential crisis using virtual reality headsets.

Health : The use of VR to offer behavioural therapies for people with conditions. The use of ARby helping visualize procedures in operation rooms. Neurology: What is NeuroTracker? NeuroTracker is an individual cognitive and perceptual training software, created by Professor Jocelyn Faubert over multiple years at the Université de Montréal. Humans abilities tend to diminish with age, succeeding a trauma, or in the presence of an attention deficit including or excluding hyperactivity. Designed to work on attentional mechanisms related to vision by isolating it, this immersive three-dimensional training system lets the user augment the pace at which a visual scene is reviewed, it also increases the concentration time, and strengthen the ability to take and give emotional responses. The main focus is on improving performances and the treatment of neurological disorders. A multitude of studies have revealed that this type of training bring positive effects in various fields of day-to-day activities. Also, the training system can measure cognitive integration gains during training. These cognitive skills are essential for treating people affected by concussions, managing symptoms in ADHD patients, or ameliorateathletic performance. NeuroTracker can be useful in several activity sectors, including health and well-being, education, security, and even scientific research. Therefore, anyone wishing to improve their cognitive abilities can benefit from this technology. This technology of virtual reality can also be used to reduce the risk of injury among athletes. Here, virtual reality is used for cognitive training purposes by recreating elaborate scenes that allow athletes to manage a significant amount of information across their visual field. Athletic performance is improved when the brain is not overtaxed. Using the NeuroTracker solution developed by Montréal-based team recreated game situations in which athletes can track a great deal of information in their visual field, without exhausting their cognitive resources. By ameliorating cognitive performance, athletes can free up cognitive resources and apply them to motor control. This helps them by improving their performance in a given situation of their practiced sport and reducing the risk of injuries. Operations: Using augmented reality to assist surgeons especially otorhinolaryngologists with planning and positioning in patients who need throat, ear or nose surgery. The technology is called Target Guided Surgery or TGS, it was created to improve patient outcomes and safety in complicated surgeries performed close to optic brain nerves. The Mcgill University is the first to use this technology in North America. It works with the operation room video endoscopy systemand makes it possible for surgeons to see and plan their moves for the surgery. This technology can also be used in craniofacial, spinal and neutological operations

In conclusion, virtual reality and augmented reality are now an important part of our learning experience and scientific advancements and have an immense potential.While it is an amazing technology in the sector of entertainment, a large number of companies are developing VR and AR softwares and applications to better our lives in other sectors. Everyday these technologiesare expanding, what had a market worth of 4.5 billion dollars in 2014 is expected to reach 215 billion dollars by the year of 2021. The sectors of activities they will be useful to will keep expanding and Montreal’s creative and innovative spirit will push it further every day.

Author Biography.

Marco Follow

Accomplished entrepreneur. Passionate about Software engineering with skills aquired at the University of Toronto and UQAM. Now proud Managing Partner at Brossard Design ( Software Engineering Firm) and investor in many other Ventures. I Hope to inspire people with my creative team and my will to build strong relationships and great Tech Solutions. With experience and interest in modern software technologies (Mobile app solutions, AI solutions, Web Apps & creative software's) we strive to create a unique and personalized products and solutions to help our partners & clients develop their projects and businesses.

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