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Plato's Cave

Despite the name, Plato's Cave, is not a CAVE VR interface. It is instead, a window on world (monitor based) VR experience, designed as a new radiology visualisation interface. It derives its meaning from the same source - In Plato's "Allegory of the Cave," prisoners saw shadows on a cave wall as reality and blindly accepted it as fact. One day, a prisoner escaped and actually saw the outside world; thus, his experience gave him a more expansive view of reality.

This would describe a CAVE interface very well. However, the creator of this system, has taken the same name, for reasons not entirely clear. This is a 3D body slicer, quite similar in many ways to other such attempts. The system uses a projector to display images on a high refresh rate screen and use shutter glasses to display the effect in three dimensions.

A hand-held 3D plotter or wand can be used to navigate around the displayed 3D data. To keep costs down, a Wii nunchuck, Wii-mote or X-box controller can be used, off the shelf.

The idea is to assemble the slices from X-ray, CAT, PET or MRI into 3D volumetric models, as systems such as the Dextroscope already do. These 3D models, retain the information of each of the individual slices, and so can be virtually dissected, in any angle desired, even removing individual 3D structures inside.

The key selling point of Plato's Cave over other, similar solutions on the market, is cost. Its aiming to be as cheap as possible, in the hopes that this will encourage uptake. Of course, on the flip side, a cheaper system lacks many of the interface options of its higher-end brethren.






New technology offers virtual visualization of the human body

The Methodist Hospital

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