On February 3rd, KC Digital Drive hosted a demo day at the T-Mobile campus for the Augmented Reality/Virtual Reality (AR/VR) Heartland Developer Challenge, a year-long program to bring together entrepreneurs, hackers, makers, developers, and other creative minds with the goal of building AR applications that solve local problems.

The full list of developers who presented can be found below, along with a brief description of their solution and a link to a recording of their presentation. Click here to listen to an introduction to the program by Jim Starcev, as well as a discussion on the future of XR and 5G by Dr. John Saw.

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XR Medical Procedure (University of Nebraska Medical Center, XReps, Bryan Kitahara, Joel Stephens) – The mission of XR Medical Procedure is to create mixed reality (AR/VR/XR) surgical experience that simulate the senses using haptics, and empower students and medical professionals with a real world experience without having to practice on a living patient. – Link to Presentation

Animating Mannikins (University of Kansas School of Nursing, Bundle of Rays, Doug Hohulin) – This project seeks to use XR to replace and improve the manikins currently used for training in healthcare settings. Using XR, features could be added to create a more realistic training experience at lower cost, and allow for remote immersive training of healthcare professionals. – Link to Presentation

Virtual Museum (American Jazz Museum, Jeff Wheeldon) – Virtual museum is an augmented reality tool for museums that would allow a spatially-tracked virtual tour guide to show users through the museum and provide a high quality audio experience during their visit. – Link to Presentation

Stages of Pressure Injuries (University of Central Missouri, Nayan Dixit) – Team Jupiter is a team of students at the University of Central Missouri who are working to create a collaborative, immersive education environment to enhance learning for nursing students. The team worked on two projects as part of the program: a mobile AR application that lets students scan textbook images to see 3D models of the concepts being taught, and interactive tools to allow for collaborative learning with mixed reality. – Link to Presentation

Holographic Surgical Navigation (MediView, Scott Gunnigle) – MediView is a med-tech startup building an extended reality head-mounted display that allows a health care professional to put on a pair of glasses that permits them to peer inside a patient without an incision or open operation. Instead of displaying procedural images on a conventional 2D display screen, 3D patient-specific holograms of their internal anatomy are superimposed in real-time directly onto the patient during surgical procedures. – Link to Presentation

Further Reading

MoodSpark’s digital companion combats loneliness in seniors by detecting signs of sadness and uplifting with emotional memories and personalized interventions

MoodSpark was founded in 2020 to develop a digital companion for seniors suffering from loneliness, anxiety, and depression. MoodSpark’s companion is designed to detect signs of sadness and distress in elderly patients and respond with emotional memories, personalized conversations, and video visits with friends and family that can help to distract, re-direct, and uplift.

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