Surgeon Brent Ponce wore a Google Glass while operating on a complete shoulder replacement, and used the technology to have a remotely located surgeon sit in and actually be able to guide Brent as he was performing the surgery. Brent’s Google Glass sent video to his remote colleague, and his colleague sent back a video feed of his hand, which is able to be seen by Brent superimposed over his vision. This effectively allows for a surgeon in one city to directly supervise a surgery in another city with his/her hands.
This was accomplished using an app made by VIPAAR (http://www.vipaar.com/), which specializes in using video to allow for remote assistance. And while the Google Glass isn’t exactly widely available, this sort of technology has potential to be used in a wide variety of fields. Which begs the question, if we can mimic a surgeon’s hand movements, can anyone perform a surgery with this technology? Probably not, as there are a lot of intuition and finesse that goes into surgery (I’m guessing), but perhaps other fields can become more accessible. Could someone remotely learn a song on piano by mimicking hand movements? Or is the physical presence a necessity? Technology is allowing for us to interact with each other in increasing degrees, but at what point are we truly becoming disconnected with the physicality of someone’s presence?