Laparoscopic surgery lets surgeons use tiny "keyhole" incisions and micro-sized 3D cameras to operate on internal organs without leaving big, slow-healing scars. It's already considered a revolutionary procedure, and now Sony is introducing a 3D helmet display that advances the tech even further. It's like Oculus Rift for your appendectomy.
With two OLED displays producing a high-definition 3D image, the HMM-3000MT helmet provides a clear, sharp view of what's going on inside a patient. A gap at the bottom of the helmet lets the surgeon view the outside world (like the patient's abdomen, or the surgeon's hands) by looking down, the way you'd peer out from under a pair of sunglasses. Current systems require looking back and forth between the surgical field and a video monitor, and if you ask me, the less turning and swiveling a surgeon does while guiding sharp, tiny probes through someone's guts, the better. The helmet even has picture-in-picture, like any self-respecting HDTV, along with image flipping and rotating capabilities to help keep the surgeon oriented (no more mumbling "now is the liver on the left, or the right?" mid-surgery).
Sony says the product has been approved for surgical use in Japan, and will hit operating rooms there starting August 1. US and European approval are still in the works. And while the $US15,000 estimated price means this clearly isn't a toy, we won't judge surgeons for making video game "pew pew pew" noises while using it. [Sony via MedGadget]