Augmented Reality to fight against Coronavirus

A team of researchers from the University of California San Francisco has developed an augmented reality visualization tool system. It could help fight the Coronavirus.

The only way to defeat the new Coronavirus that is rampant in the world is to study it first. Dissect it, observe it from all angles to determine its weak point, the fault that will cause it to fall. It is with this logic in mind that Tom Goddard and his team from the University of California San Francisco have developed a tool for visualization and analysis in augmented reality of molecules.

More than augmented reality, Tom Goddard specifies that their tool, ChimeraX belongs more to the field of mixed reality. Indeed, when the first is more of a personal experience, the second puts him in the role of a guide who offers a visit in the details of the microscopic beings that are viruses. This is what we can see in this video that they put online. Starting from the image of the virus obtained using a microscope, he manages to model the entire structure in 3D. Its characteristic shape where the glycoproteins surround the virion like a crown is recognizable here.

ChimeraX system is reproducible at home

The equipment used to achieve this result includes a camera capable of measuring depth, a virtual reality headset connected to a PC (Oculus, HTC Vive or WMR), as well as a powerful computer. All this allows the programmer to move 3D models in space. It can also zoom in, especially on receptors, and understand how the virus attaches to the surface of our cells. The simulation recreated by this tool is very interesting.

This is only an example since it is not with the structure of SARS-CoV-2 that it works, but that of a SARS virus in general. But it could lead the way in the fight against Coronavirus, and not only. All diseases could be studied thanks to augmented reality. Besides, Tom Goddard has made his system self-service for all researchers.