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11 April 2017

MWC 2017: How virtual reality could be the next big thing for healthcare

This time last year, visitors to Mobile World Congress 2016 in Barcelona remarked on the sudden prevalence of virtual reality (VR) tech on many of the stands. Then, memorably, Samsung brought the technology to global attention when it enlisted Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg for a viral demonstration at the launch of its Galaxy S7 handsets. Consumer virtual reality is all well and good, but in the 12 months since Samsung’s PR stunt, most of the VR headsets that were given away free with new smartphones have gone largely unused, treated as a curiosity for a few weeks before ending up in a cupboard. More attention is being paid to the idea of augmented reality (AR), which like its more immersive VR cousin had a viral moment in the summer of 2016 when millions took to the streets to hunt and collect cute little animals in the hit AR game Pokémon Go. It would probably be fair to say that VR is walking a long path to widespread acceptance and use, but even if consumers aren’t yet doing much with it beyond playing video games, the ...

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