Input Devices and Interaction Techniques for VR-Enhanced Medicine
Virtual Reality (VR) technologies make it possible to reproduce faithfully real life events in computer-generated scenarios. This approach has the potential to simplify the way people solve problems, since they can take advantage of their real life experiences while interacting in synthetic worlds.
In medicine, the application of these technologies and of the related communication interfaces could have a great impact on several fields, such as virtual endoscopy, surgical simulation and planning and medical education. Nonetheless, VR is still far away from being used in the daily clinical practice, being confined to specialist applications.
In this study we try to outline the deficiencies of current VR-enhanced medical applications, focusing on field of medical imaging. We analyze the main requirements to produce effective systems suitable to be used by physicians, from the input device to the interaction techniques and metaphors. Moreover, we introduce the interactive system we are designing to allow a usable manipulation of 3D reconstructions of anatomical parts in virtual environments, which is based on the use of a handheld input device: the Wii controller.
KeywordsVirtual Reality Medicine Interaction Metaphors
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