SapientNitro has released an Augmented Reality (AR) app called AR Lungs that is designed to help people stop smoking. The app employs a smartphone camera or computer webcam to superimpose digital lungs over the user’s image. By using on-screen sliders, the user can input the number of years they have smoked and the number of cigarettes smoked per day to see a “medically correct” representation of their lungs.
A non-smoker would see healthy, pink lungs, while someone who has smoked 15 cigarettes a day for 17 years would see a visual representation of the damage and discoloration their smoking has caused. The app featured in the Channel 4 series Embarrassing Bodies: Teen Special on Monday, 11 July, and is available free-of-charge at http://www.arlungs.com.
SapientNitro developed AR Lungs after consulting with healthcare professionals and smokers themselves. The firm consulted with medical experts to establish and depict the degree of visual lung damage. Traditional anti-smoking media messages have relied on the viewer making the conscious leap between an image of another smoker or smoker’s lungs and the damage they are doing to themselves. AR Lungs harnesses readily available technology to put the user at the centre of an interactive AR experience and makes the anti-smoking message personal and impactful, the company says.
“The immaturity of the technology has so far restricted AR to the ‘fun’ space,” says SapientNitro director, Bradley Gamage. “AR Lungs demonstrates the potential for AR to help raise disease awareness. With exciting breakthroughs, such as AR Lungs, we can expect AR to aid doctors in diagnosis, and even to help during surgical procedures in the near future.”