Microsoft Research has come up with a virtual tool for physiotherapy. The idea behind it is to motivate people recovering from injuries to do their exercises. AnatOnMe is a device that projects images of the bones muscles and ligaments inside the body onto the patient’s own skin. This is a novel implementation of augmented reality as the augmented world is projected on the patient. An image of the underlying bone structure, muscle tissue, tendons, or nerves is projected onto the skin, giving patients a better understanding of the injury, and of what they need to do to help the healing process.
The device consists of two parts: the first one contains a projector, an ordinary digital camera, and an infrared camera. The second contains a laser pointer and the control buttons. The system is not meant to be very accurate, and the image of the internal injury is not precisely map onto the patient’s exterior, the therapist simply points the projector and lines it up by eye. The images displayed are not actually taken from scans of the patients but come from stock graphical images used to show one of six different types of injury. However, it works pretty well to educate patients and help them better understand their injuries.