Summary: Don’t worry, we’re not going to urge you to get on the latest mobile gaming bandwagon and start playing Pokemon Go. Instead, we’re talking about augmented reality, and how it might help you plan your next plastic surgery procedure. If you want to think about that as Pokemon Go to the Surgeon, we won’t stop you!
The Link Between Pokemon Go and Plastic Surgery
Maybe you’ve been living under a rock for the past couple of months, but Pokemon Go is a mobile phone game that is causing a huge stir. The incredibly popular game is designed to let players capture digital imaginary creatures known as “Pokemon.” These Pokemon, as a franchise, have been around since the 1990s, but Pokemon Go has catapulted the furry, fighting creatures back into the mainstream.
The reason why I’m talking about Pokemon Go is pretty simply: it relates to how we see the world, how we see ourselves, and how we might plan plastic surgery. The game is what’s called an “augmented reality” game. In other words, it takes our reality and tweaks it a bit.
Pokemon Go isn’t the first game (or even app) to use augmented reality. But it does use AR with a great deal of sophistication, letting your phone show you the Pokemon that’s sitting on your desk or on the sidewalk. This type of feature is going to play a big role, I think, in helping people predict their plastic surgery results (and in making them want plastic surgery in the first place).
Filters and Facelifts
We’ve already seen this, to a certain extent, in the filters on many social media and photography apps. Think about SnapChat or Instagram. These apps allow users to place filters over their photographs. Some of the filters are meant for fun, distorting the users image in some entertaining way.
Other filters are meant to make the image appear better: eliminating lines, wrinkles, and blemishes or changing the lighting to appear more flattering. These filters can encourage actual facelift or facial rejuvenating procedures because patients will see how great they look with this wrinkle or that line gone. They will then want to replicate the results in real life.
In fact, selfies are known to cause an uptick in plastic surgery. According to the website of the Washington DC eyelid lift specialists at Sanctuary Cosmetic Center, selfies may cause more plastic surgery requests simply because people see themselves more often—and you want what you see to match up with your own personal identity (what you see in your head).
Augmented Reality to Plan Your Plastic Surgery
One of the hardest parts of plastic surgery consultations is illustrating what the patient will look like after the procedure is finished. Augmented reality, of the type used by Pokemon Go, just might be a good way to accomplish that. Remember, augmented reality is just a way of showing you something cool through your phone.
But that “something cool” interacts with the real world in real time. So there’s no reason that future apps cannot make changes to your face or to your frame in order to show you what you might look like with, for example, a smoother face or a larger bust.
Being able to see your results in three dimensions (on a two dimensional screen, I grant, but you get the idea) is a boon to patients who really want to predict what their final results will be. In theory, augmented reality apps would allow patients to make changes in real time.
This could give surgeons an excellent tool when it comes to illustrating the results of various plastic surgery procedures. There are, of course, several firms working on apps for plastic surgery consultations, to say nothing of the capabilities of Photoshop and other photo editing software.
But augmented reality, of the kind used for Pokemon Go, really does seem to be the future. It might be a game today, but it could help you select the right procedure tomorrow.
Consulting With Your Smart Phone
The future is quickly approaching. Today we’ve got augmented reality games, tomorrow we’ll have self-driving cars. So it’s not unlikely that you might be getting your plastic surgery consultation through your mobile device one day. Mobile devices already offer features such as video chat, so an initial consultations may not be far away.
It’s worth noting, however, that surgeons will often take very detailed measurements for some plastic surgery procedures. Until your mobile device can do that (and I’m not saying it won’t), consultations will still be very necessary. But using a phone for an initial meeting probably won’t be such a bad thing.
After all, technology keeps accelerating. Who knows how the technology of tomorrow might transform, enhance, or alter plastic surgery as we know it. Things are looking up!