At O2Amp we have patented optical filter technology specifically designed for helping us see people better. Last year we began producing eyewear for applications in medicine. We have had great reactions (see near the end of this story), and O2Amp was listed among the “Top Seven Health Innovations of 2012″.
We at O2Amp have now begun moving into lighting, because all the same perceptual enhancement occurs by bathing an entire room in the filtered light — no eyewear needed. The photo above is our first “O2Lamp” prototype.
There are two broad markets we’re working hard to move into: medical and everyday lighting.
- General lighting for hospitals and ambulances: One of our three technologies (the Oxy-Amp) enhances perception of variations of oxygenation under the skin, providing a strict improvement to a clinician’s ability to assess, diagnose, and treat a patient. The filter cuts very little light out of the illuminant, provides the warm and human-friendly lighting expected for patient satisfaction, but has the tremendous benefit of aiding doctors, nurses and emergency personnel at perceiving the patient’s health.
- Specialized lighting for procedures: The three distinct O2Amp technologies (Oxy-Amp, Oxy-Iso, Hemo-Iso) provide distinct clinical viewing benefits, and we are in conversations with lighting companies to get the technologies in special-purpose lighting for surgeries and other procedures. One way to describe the technology is this: ambient near-surface passive medical imaging.
- Skin examination: Although O2Amp technology is designed for amplifying perception of blood under the skin, as a consequence the skin itself becomes more transparent, and easier to assess. (…akin to holding up a piece of parchment to a light, and only then being able to see the subtle variations in the parchment.) Here there are applications for dermatology, as well as for cosmeticians.
- Truly warm lighting: People perceive bluer white lights to be “cool”, and redder white lights to be “warm.” One of the principal reasons for this is that the redder lights help make the blood more visible in the skin of those around you — it amplifies the “warmth” from other people. Our O2Amp filter technology enhances these blood signals directly, and can be added to any white light, even blue-ish ones. Warmth isn’t just for red any more.
- Cosmetic lighting: Younger skin tends to be more transparent, with well-perfused underlying flesh. Because the O2Amp (the Oxy-Amp in particular) amplifies the visibility of the underlying blood, the result is that skin appears more transparent, and the flesh underlying it more perfused. …mimicking the traits found in more youthful skin. Skin looks younger and healthier under Oxy-Amp lighting, something useful in any everyday setting, but potentially especially so in clothing stores.
Mark Changizi is Director of Human Cognition at 2AI, and the author of Harnessed: How Language and Music Mimicked Nature and Transformed Ape to Man and The Vision Revolution. He is finishing up his new book, HUMAN 3.0, a novel about our human future, and working on his next non-fiction book, FORCE OF EMOTION.