Softability implemented a Proof-of Concept project for Thermo Fisher Scientific
Softability undertook a Proof-of Concept project for Thermo Fisher Scientific, in which augmented reality was exploited in the control of the Varioskan™ LUX analysis and measuring device for use in research.
The Varioskan™ LUX is a microplate reader intended for medical and laboratory research. It employees various technologies to measure light waves (e.g. absorbance, fluorescence and luminescence), and is used, for example, in drug development, cell research, measuring bacterial growth, DNA/RNA quantitation, protein detection, antibody studies, etc.
The HoloLens demo application developed by Softability provides a virtual interface for operating the Varioskan™ LUX tool and for analysing the results of measurements. The user can use the virtual interface to select the desired measurement (e.g. ELISA or DNA), and the device processes and analyses the results in accordance with the chosen protocol. When the measuring process has been completed, the HoloLens application shows the results on a virtual microplate in 3D and in different colours. Communication with the device is over a WiFi connection with a computer via a USB cable. The computer acts as a web server and transmits commands from the HoloLens application to the device and sends back responses from the device to the application. The user can also give commands to the device without actually physically touching it, which lessens the risk of contamination of samples.
The purpose of the PoC project was to conceptualise what benefits augmented reality could offer for laboratory research in the future. The AR applications are suited, for example, to training and guidance for laboratory workers. Human error in laboratory work incurs costs in terms of time and materials: a mistake could mean an analysis has to be conducted all over again, and that may mean the samples will have to undergo renewed processing. The HoloLens application can help reduce the likelihood of mistakes being made by providing laboratory workers with step-by-step guidance at different stages of the analysis.
Softability Group Oy, Mikko Luukkonen, Myyntipäällikkö, mikko.luukkonen(a)softability.fi