A network that can’t scale is like drinking a milkshake through a coffee straw; the milkshake keeps bigger and thicker with more toppings. So the question is, how are you building your straw?
If you’re looking to get great value from your network, building for scalability is critical. It’s not enough to build a network which minimally meets the needs of consumers in 2017; the networks need room to expand so they can accommodate more services and greater speeds down the road.
Drivers such as video streaming, the IoT, and VR alike will cause this need for network expansion. According to Cisco, by 2021 there will be 4.8B total connected devices, or 12.9 connected devices per capita in North America. Across global IP networks, there will be 3.3 Zettabytes of data. Networks that aren’t scalable simply cannot support this, and the customers will look for other options.
Virtual Reality is one of the major drivers of broadband usage, and the goal of VR is to generate a digital experience at the full spectrum of human perception—to recreate every photon your eyes would see, every vibration your ears would hear, and so on. This is a pretty incredible feat considering humans can process an equivalent of nearly 5.2 gigabits per second of sound and light—200x what the FCC predicts to be the future requirement for broadband networks (25Mbps). Our bandwidth milkshake is about to burst our existing network straw.
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Medical diagnoses can be incredibly confusing and scary for patients. Doctors often struggle to explain what’s going on in the body as it can be hard to visualize things like tumors. Soon, doctors may have a new tool that helps remove some of the confusion from a diagnosis: virtual and augmented reality.
University of Washington startup Pear Med has created VR and AR software that compiles medical scans into an interactive 3D model. The startup is working with Seattle Children’s Hospital to further develop their tech, which can help physicians as well as patients understand the medical issues they’re facing.
Pear Med’s software is called Bosc and it stitches together 2D images from a patient’s MRI or CT scan to create a virtual 3D model unique to their anatomy. Using the AR HoloLens or VR Oculus Rift, patients can see a color-coded representation of their bones, organs, and nerves. There is interest in this software from the medical field, but AR and VR can be difficult and incredibly expensive to implement.
Bosc’s founders relied heavily on open source software to develop Bosc, so they felt compelled to share what they’d learned on GitHub. They open sourced the Pear Interaction Engine as a thank you to everyone in the software community.
It could take years before Pear Med is able to fully integrate their technology into a hospital’s daily workflow, but Pear Med’s founders believe Seattle Children’s will be the perfect environment to test their products.
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