Abbott and Blood Centers of America are unveiling a new mixed reality experience for use during blood donation.
The mixed reality technology is an immersive digital experience designed to improve the blood donation process, attract new donors and motivate a younger generation to give blood. The effort intends to address the global challenge of sustaining a reliable blood supply.
The mixed reality experience allows blood donation professionals to safely conduct the donation and interact with donors at every step of the process. Donors' eyes are always visible during donation to ensure constant monitoring and evaluation. Participants wear lightweight mixed reality headsets to enter a digital world but remain fully aware of their surroundings, ensuring a seamless, convenient and safe donation.
The mixed reality experience was designed based on research that natural settings are the most preferred environment as donors give blood. Participants visit a whimsical garden while listening to soothing music, planting seeds that grow into colorful trees and flowers.
The experience is currently being piloted on a limited basis at select Blood Centers of America locations nationwide.
Mixed reality is similar to virtual reality but allows users to see the real world around them as they immerse themselves in a digital world, whereas in virtual reality, users only experience the digital world. The mixed reality journey uses Microsoft HoloLens 2, the world's first self-contained holographic computer, enabling hands-free interaction with three-dimensional digital objects and a library of applications. Donors are offered a quick tutorial on the headsets and the mixed reality world prior to use. The headsets can be adjusted for each donor's comfort and are easily integrated into the donation process.