Lost in the Hospital? Just touch the Wall

Immersive Technologies from the slicksters at Obscura Digital soon at a hospital near you!

The hospital of the future just got a lot more flashy.


Creative technology agency Obscura Digital is known for its impressive visual displays–theYouTube symphony orchestra, a 26-story high projection on Coca-Cola’s headquarters, and the Cuelight interactive pool table are just some of the agency’s many feats. Now Obscura is bringing its design smarts to the health care industry. Can wall projections in drab hospital rooms be far behind?

Obscura Digital showed off its past work at this week’s Innovation Learning Network meeting at Kaiser Permanente’s Garfield Center–a movie set-style mock-up of a hospital. The agency tells Fast Company that it is already working with Kaiser on a large format touch wall in a Southern California medical building (Obscura is staying mum on the details). But that’s just the beginning.

Obscura Digital’s “Connections” display (pictured above)–an augmented reality experience that displays Facebook connections between participants–could be the starting point for a wayfinding kiosk in hospitals, where cheap LED projections could be used to map out a floor. Combined with facial recognition software, the solution could be used to guide individual patients to their rooms.

The technology behind the illuminated Coca-Cola headquarters could be used to create a video wall that allows visitors to see what’s new in a medical building. That same technology could be used to create immersive environments in patient rooms–at the push of a button, a patient could be transported to a beach in Maui, or a child could fingerpaint the walls, without creating any real mess.

The Kaiser installation aside, this is all still speculative, though Obscura executives did bring these examples up as potential applications for their technology. And if there is anywhere that could use Obscura Digital’s immersive experiences, it is the one place that most people dread visiting: the hospital.

Reach Ariel Schwartz via Twitter or email.

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