VR Final: Hurricane Harvey

This VR story focuses on a small neighborhood in Coldspring, Texas.  This neighborhood where my family resides is surrounded by water: one river and one dam.  When Harvey made its way through Texas, the water from the hurricane caused the water levels in the dam to rise high enough to cause the wall in the dam of Lake Livingston to be opened.  On one side of the neighborhood, the top of the damn was overflowing with water and on the other side, the water levels in the river were rising at a rapid pace.

In this video, we see the the aftermath of the flooding.  Many people’s homes had to be rebuilt, and some even left their homes behind due to the damage.  The street is half vacant due to the cost it would be to rebuild and remodel the homes that were damaged.  Even though over one year has passed, the effects of Harvey are still felt every day.

Emily Sprout

Homido V2 Review

The VR goggles, made by Homido, can be found on Amazon for $22.00.  Purchase them here: https://www.amazon.com/VR-Headset-Homido-iPhone-Android-x/dp/B01LZWDNX6/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1542052268&sr=8-2&keywords=homido

I personally give these goggles a 7.5/10. The best part of this headset would have to be the fit.  On the interior of the headset when the user’s face comes into contact with the headset is very comfortable.  There is a padding that is layered on the inside for comfort for the user.  Because of this feature, users have an easier time leaving the headset on for longer periods of time due to the increase of comfort in comparison to other headsets.  Another great feature of this headset is the carrying case.  Because the headset’s screen is so smooth and easy to scratch, it is very convenient to have a carrying case to protect the goggles from being messed up.  This also allows for easier storage of the headset without worrying about the product because of the protection provided by the hard-shell case.

There were two aspects of this headset I did not care for as much.  The first is the clarity of the 360 elements.  More often than not, what is watched in the headset is blurry.  At first, I checked the video to ensure I was not mistaken.  When I saw my videos were in the best resolution possible, I began to play with the focus setting on the top of the goggles.  Spreading apart or pulling together the eye piece did not help the clarity.  It is almost as if there is not enough space to adjust the eye piece for more clarity. The other aspect I was not a huge fan was the space for the mobile device.  The space provided includes a lever that allows for multiple sized devices to be used.  However, the lever does not have much gives which causes the user to almost have to force the device into the headset.

 

When using the headset, you simply just insert the device, close the screen, and place the headset on your head like a hat. If the headset is fitting tight, you have the ability to loosen the straps to fit your head size.  Also, if you do not use or have wireless headphones, Homido does not discriminate!  There is an opening between the screen and the main headset piece to allow for headphones to be plugged in.  If at any point the user needs to click on something on the main screen, the headset has a silver button on the right-hand side to click just like a mouse to a computer.

I definitely think this headset is worth the lower price.  For $22, it’s pretty good quality in terms of its build and overall look and feel. This headset is great for beginners or those who are just interested in VR for fun.  However, if someone is wanting to pursue VR in a more serious way, I would suggest something with some more power in the headset.

Intel and Modern Medicine

The famous company, Intel, is helping to bring the medical field in a form for patients.  When doctors are attempting to explain a medical diagnosis to a patient, sometimes the patient has a hard time understanding what is really going on because they cannot see everything there is to know about their diagnosis. Virtual reality has helped to build that bridge between patient doctor discussion about a person’s diagnosis.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XoVpQG8Nd8U

 

The video above discusses how a system known as “Surgical Theatre”, created by Intel, allows doctors and surgeons to take a patient’s brain into a VR setting and allow them to look around and better understand what they are looking at which then allows the patient to better understand what is going inside their body.  However, this technology is only being used in certain hospitals in a few cities. The video explains the desire to have this VR technology in hospitals everywhere to help patients feel more comfortable with their diagnosis and to understand how their procedures will take place.  This VR technology has been instrumental in patients with brain tumors.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FuZjHnpYL_4

 

A CAT scan can only show a patient so much. However, with VR, patients can go inside their own brain to see, not only the tumor, but where the tumor is located in comparison to critical areas such as optical nerves and different lobes of the brain.  Intel has been working with doctors to enhance the system to help patients truly see every part of what is going on inside their heads.  This software is also changing the ways doctors prepare for brain surgeries.  Before this system, doctors never knew what to fully expect when they would go into the operating room (OR).  They would think in their minds all the steps they might need to take and what to do if something goes wrong.  Now, with this VR technology, doctors are able to perform a virtual procedure that allows them to decide, step by step, what they will do in the OR and help mentally prepare them for whatever might be coming when they begin the surgery.

 

See this article for more information on how Intel is working with doctors and hospitals to integrate this technology:

https://iq.intel.com/vr-prepares-doctors-patients-life-saving-surgery/

 

How about that?  Virtual reality inside your own brain.  I would give anything to see that, minus the whole brain tumor part. This technology is revolutionary to medicine and to the world.  Never would I have thought to use VR to help a patient understand what is going on in their brain.  I think this use of VR is extremely exciting and ground breaking, and I think this is going to be open a lot of door for the medical industry in the future.  Right now, it may just be brains, but in the next few years, think about everything else we could look at: knees before knee surgery, organs before transplants, maybe even pregnancies.  The opportunities are truly endless, and I am so excited to see what else comes from this with Intel.

College of Communication and Information Tour – Blazer Dining

This video takes viewers on a virtual tour of Blazer Dining, the new home of the University of Kentucky College of Communication and Information.  Students can use this video as a tool to help them navigate the three story building, and discover where advising, professors and classrooms are located within the building.  Video and audio is Kelly Benzenhoefer.  Editing is by Emily Sproul.