UNC-Chapel Hill’s Henry Fuchs and his team of students and colleagues are developing an augmented-reality program to aid in laparoscopic surgery training and, maybe one day, revolutionize minimally invasive surgery.

As a computer science student in the 1970s, Henry Fuchs tried to explain the benefits of affordable, personal computers to others at his school. Most were not convinced — they saw no need for this technology in their day-to-day life.

“It was such a radical notion, even 10 years later I couldn’t convince professors in major universities that this was a good idea,” he said while throwing his hands up, still exasperated by the thought.

Decades later, the average person spends about four hours per day on their pocket-sized computer — their smartphone. Fuchs doesn’t have time to relish in his correct prediction, though. He’s already looking to the future.

Fuchs’ research group focuses on computer graphics and virtual and augmented reality, with many of their project applications in the medical field. One of these is in laparoscopic surgery.

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Originally published Apr. 29, 2019.