Animal testing continues to be a controversial issue. A necessary element of scientific research, the practice has lead to the discovery of penicillin and the development of the polio vaccine. But, it is also at the center of vehement protests by those who feel that the lives of animals should not be sacrificed for those of humans. Still, we have yet to come up with a viable substitute, though innovators around the world are on the case.
One alternative option might lie in the world of augmented reality.
Our friends over at Inition, makers of the edible chocolate brain, have created a digital dissection app “to illustrate how virtual imagery and simulation could play an increasing role in the future of cosmetic testing,” according to a news release. Created for the Lush Prize Awards, Inition’s app entertained 120 awards dinner guests.
The Inition team created a set of lungs, a beating heart and a foot that are all anatomically correct. The catch? These body parts are virtual, and appeared to “hover over the custom made AR marker/table mats as the guests moved iPads over them.” And guests were even able to perform virtual dissections using their fingers. Definitely a memorable appetizer.
This type of technology is certainly new, and most likely won’t replace animal models anytime soon. But, it is an interesting development in the animal testing debate. What do you think? Will animal testing ever become obsolete?