Sep 20, 2019

Virtual Reality as a Medical Aid: Dylan Fox Leads Prototyping at Cal

From Diablo Magazine

Virtual Reality in Oakland

By Kimberly Olson

Jacob Levin had his first epileptic seizure when he was 11 months old. By age 15, he was having three or four a day, making it a challenge to enjoy activities that most teens take for granted...

Using a virtual reality (VR) system called Surgical Theater, Auguste can put on a headset and “fly” into a 3D model of a patient’s brain. While the technology is primarily used for surgical planning — to chart the best pathway to a tumor or aneurysm, for example — UCSF Benioff Children’s is the first hospital in the country to routinely share this remarkable VR experience with patients and their families.

Virtual Reality at Berkeley, a multidisciplinary community of 500 students — studying engineering, molecular cell biology, cognitive science, and more — has become a hotbed of innovation in virtual and augmented reality.

Students from UC Berkeley’s School of Information have developed a VR prototype that might one day help the blind and visually impaired navigate unfamiliar places. Research included talking to accessibility experts and blind advocacy groups. “They wanted more ways to get semantic information about the environment,” says team lead Dylan Fox. “There’s a lot of text that’s not available to blind people.”


Dylan Fox is a MIMS 2019 alumnus. His research focuses on UX design, VR and AR interactions.

Last updated:

June 12, 2020