For the mirror to work, an individual undergoes a PET scan, X-ray and MRI scan to capture high-resolution images of their bones and organs.
Then when the person steps in front of the mirror, a Microsoft Kinect’s motion-capture camera tracks the movement of two dozen different joints, including the knees, elbows and wrists.
The medical images can be animated with the help of graphical processing units so users can see their body inside out in real time, ‘New Scientist’ reported.
Researcher Xavier Maitre, a medical imaging researcher at the University of Paris-South, and colleagues built the digital mirror to explore philosophical questions about how we relate to our body.
In an experiment, they left 30 participants alone with the mirror for several minutes to gauge their reactions.
In this instance, people were shown pre-recorded data of other individuals of the same sex. The team found that about one-third of people were uncomfortable in front of the mirror and reluctant to let others see.
In the future, researchers said doctors could use a similar system to help people explore a particular part of their body or prepare for an upcoming operation.
Other researchers are already exploring how augmented reality can help medicine.
Mirracle, another kind of “mirror” developed at the Technical University of Munich in Germany, projects slices of medical imagery directly onto a person’s body.
Another project – recently featured at the American Association for the Advancement of Science conference in Chicago – can animate MRI data on the computer screen, pinpointing parts of the body that might cause trouble in the futureMovie Camera.
Maitre and his collaborators want to make the illusion created by the mirror even more lifelike by programming the heart to beat and the lungs to move.