David Chesney has a new approach to his senior level EECS class, thanks to a stellar group of U-M students and game-changing technology from Microsoft. Using Microsoft HoloLens devices, students in his class partnered with Vice Chair of Pediatric Emergency Medicine and Professor of Emergency Medicine and Pediatric Medicine Dr. Prashant Mahajan to identify potential technology applications that would streamline hospital logistics, comfort patients, and provide lifesaving care.

Chesney illustrates one example of long distance critical care that could result from software using this technology: “Imagine an EMT at an emergency scene, wearing a Hololens and communicating with a clinician in a hospital. It allows more in-depth care: the EMT can act as the eyes and the hands of the clinician. They can use the HoloLens to see the patient, put virtual marks on patient that the EMT can act on, all the while talking to the EMT on the scene.”

Microsoft donated HoloLens devices to multiple schools across U-M so that faculty and students would use them in the classroom to develop new, innovative ideas to harness the potential of the devices and push the boundaries of potential applications for holographic computing. Microsoft is so invested in the partnership that executives from the company participated in the class to hear directly from the students.

Kent Foster, University Relations Lead at Microsoft visited Chesney’s classroom during this process and saw firsthand the technology applications in use. He says, “It was impactful to see University of Michigan students experience this technology firsthand. We hope it creates opportunities to advance research that will shape their future and benefit the local community.”

Students demonstrate new ideas using Microsoft HoloLens devices.

U-M students demonstrate their ideas using Microsoft HoloLens devices.

 

The School of Information, in partnership with units across campus, is investing in augmented and virtual reality (AR/VR) to prepare students for the future workplace. Corporate supporters have helped the university make strides in AR and VR in both collaborative curriculum and research. Putting cutting edge technology in the classroom with world renowned faculty and some of the brightest students in the country is yielding amazing results. “This is part of the synergy of the relationship. When great companies like Microsoft are recruiting, they find U-M students already trained in using the company’s own state of the art technology on unique user interface issues. It’s a win for everyone,” Chesney shares. This semester, Professor Chesney and Dr. Mahajan welcomed a new cohort of students to further the software applications and build viable programs from them.