Fast Company

Obscura Digital Brings Its Creative Magic To Health Care

The hospital of the future just got a lot more flashy.

Creative technology agency Obscura Digital is known for its impressive visual displays--the YouTube symphony orchestra, a 26-story high projection on Coca-Cola's headquarters, and the Cuelight interactive pool table are just some of the agency's many feats. Now Obscura is bringing its design smarts to the health care industry. Can wall projections in drab hospital rooms be far behind?

Obscura Digital showed off its past work at this week's Innovation Learning Network meeting at Kaiser Permanente's Garfield Center--a movie set-style mock-up of a hospital. The agency tells Fast Company that it is already working with Kaiser on a large-format touch wall in a Southern California medical building (Obscura is staying mum on the details). But that's just the beginning.

Obscura Digital's "Connections" display (pictured above)--an augmented reality experience that displays Facebook connections between participants--could be the starting point for a wayfinding kiosk in hospitals, where cheap LED projections could be used to map out a floor. Combined with facial recognition software, the solution could be used to guide individual patients to their rooms.

The technology behind the illuminated Coca-Cola headquarters could be used to create a video wall that allows visitors to see what's new in a medical building. That same technology could be used to create immersive environments in patient rooms--at the push of a button, a patient could be transported to a beach in Maui, or a child could fingerpaint the walls, without creating any real mess.

The Kaiser installation aside, this is all still speculative, though Obscura executives did bring these examples up as potential applications for their technology. And if there is anywhere that could use Obscura Digital's immersive experiences, it is the one place that most people dread visiting: the hospital.

Reach Ariel Schwartz via Twitter or email.

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  • Bette Boomer

    Obscura Digital bringing their magic touch to enhance service excellence in-hospital is fascinating technology. Wayfinding kiosks, what's new video walls, immersion environments for patient wellness enhancement - all pretty futuristic stuff. A rollout with Kaiser Permanente, the father of HMOs, is a key place to begin.However, the gorilla in the room is always cost-like the healthcare quagmire we're in right now.