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Australian University Develops AR Glasses for Dentists

  • 07.02.2017
  • News

The University Of Western Australia (UWA) is all set to change the dental procedures with innovative VR/AR technology glass.

A team of UWA researchers are developing Augmented Reality (AR) glasses that allow the dentists to perform dental procedures more accurately at lesser cost and time, as reported by UWA media statement.The AR software and hardware is in the final stage of development.

ON Accelerate program has selected the device as one of the 10 innovations in Australia to be included in the program. ON offers a range of accelerator services to research teams at different stages of the innovation lifecycle.

The AR glass currently being developed by UWA researchers Marcus Pham (UWA Engineering), Professor Paul Ichim (UWA Dentistry), Professor Thomas Braunl (UWA Engineering), and Rob Shannon (UWA Innovation Quarter) will allow dentists to speed up procedures, potentially lower dental treatment costs, improve the quality of teaching and help students learn faster. They are being trialled at UWA. The researchers will receive the resources from ON Accelerate to develop the device and bring it to a stage ready for commercialisation.

Marcus Pham, lead developer of the dental software technology, said that dentists wearing a set of AR glassescould use hand gestures to access information which was then displayed in their peripheral vision. Mr Pham said, “A big problem at the moment is the amount of interruptions dentists face when performing procedures, with an estimated 20 per cent of their day spent carrying out non-clinical tasks and a significant amount of time spent away from patients during a procedure to review critical information”. He added, “The technology we are developing will change this by providing dentists with all the information they need without them needing to interrupt a procedure, so they can focus entirely on the patient.”

The device is said to offer far reaching benefits to dental students who can learn intricate manual tasks such as tooth preparation in a more efficient manner. They need not depend on a teacher’s interpretation of their work.

The project was selected as an ON Accelerate winner following a challenging and competitive two-day selection boot-camp held at the University of Technology Sydney.

ON Accelerate3 will commence on the 16 January 2017 and run for 12 weeks, allowing the dental researchers to develop their concept. The device is expected to be available for commercialisation by late 2017. Students in UWA’s Dental School will be the first to test the device.

ON is Australia’s sci-tech innovation accelerator program by CSIRO (Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation). It brings together the experience and expertise of established researchers, entrepreneurs and inspiring mentors. It aims at creating teams of customers, partners and staff to fast-track the development of new technologies.

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