Surglasses promise breakthrough in mixed reality med-tech
The Taiwanese medical technology firm Taiwan Main Orthopaedics Biotechnology - which trades under the brand name Surglasses - has announced the launch of new mixed reality medical technology that goes further towards the world of science fiction than anything in the field so far.
Reportedly giving surgeons “a superiority rivaling any fictional character, especially the man with the X-ray eyes,” Surglasses’ latest offering is expected to do big things in the spinal navigation market.
The augmented reality (AR) smart glasses are used to position particular entry points and they can reveal the necessary angles for the screws to be attached for a spinal surgery. Traditionally, surgeons use a technique called fluoroscopy to verify the needle insertion, requiring them to periodically look away from the patient to observe the monitor. Surglasses claims that the Caduceus surgical glasses mean that a surgeon will be able to see the exact position of the needle without ever taking their eyes off of the patient.
The Caduceus glasses reportedly allow surgeons to see through a patient's body at a 3D model of the anatomy of the patient's vascular and nervous systems.
Augmented and Virtual Reality are both quickly becoming a key growth technology in the medical space, as anything that gives surgeons better information during procedures, or diagnosticians the ability to deliver expertise remotely, has powerful applications in the space.
Alongside medical technology, mixed reality is expected to see heavy adoption in the architecture, aerospace, industrial and defense industries. In 2020, the mixed reality market is expected to be worth more than $450mn, representing a CAGR of more than 75% since 2016. In the healthcare sector, virtual reality alone is expected to generate more than $3.7bn a year by 2027.
Caduceus is going through the final process of FDA approval and is expected to enter full-scale production in the middle of 2020.
Thales Group to Provide Tech for Low Earth Orbit Satellites
The Franco-Italian aerospace manufacturer, Thales Alenia, which specialises in the space industry is set to supply the world’s only network of satellites in low earth orbit (LEO) with its industry-leading technology. More specifically, the Optical Inter-Satellite Links ─ which is hailed as the ‘best technology for the next generation of the Galileo Navigation System’, by the European Space Agency. Through the implementation of Thales Alenia’s optical systems, the satellite network will be able to provide global, fine-scale coverage, overland, oceans, and both poles, without compromising the security of data communications.
Telesat, a Canadian satellite services company, is currently developing the network and has commissioned Thales Alenia Space to build its broadband constellation. The network, which will be named Lightspeed, will apparently comprise 298 individual satellites, each weighing roughly 700 kilograms. These satellites will be capable of delivering multiple terabits per second worldwide for secure broadband professional services with low latency and high levels of performance. Ergo, it’ll be incredibly fast.
‘The Optical Inter Satellite Links technology is based on Thales Alenia Space’s product line Space Optical Communications, i.e., OPTEL-C. The more compact OPTEL-µ is another optical communications product from this line. This is particularly good for downloading data from small LEO satellites’, according to Innovation Origins.
Thales Alenia Space Background
Thales Alenia Space is the largest satellite manufacturer in Europe ─ the Swiss branch, which has been commissioned in this particular announcement, opened up five years ago in Zurich, where the company primarily specialises in the development and manufacture of instruments for scientific satellites, but also on optical communication terminals for space applications.
The Swiss Space Sector
When it comes to the European and international space industry, the Swiss sector is becoming increasingly important. Approximately 100 Swiss companies already produce incredibly sophisticated pieces of kit and technologies for space missions, and Switzerland also plays host to the European Space Agency Business Incubation Centre, which was established back in 2016 in an effort to help entrepreneurs ‘realise their innovative ideas and transfer technologies from space to Earth and from Earth to space.’