Phantom limb, in case you didn’t know, is a syndrome that sometimes occurs after a limb is amputated but the mind of the patient still thinks that the limb is attached. This can lead to very painful and frustrating experiences and requires therapy to get over. Normally it is done with a Ramachandran Mirror Box: patients place their hand in one side of the box and the arm stump on the other side. When the patient looks at the box with the good hand, his/her brain is tricked into thinking that the amputated hand is still there.
Well, some folks have decided on a new way to treat phantom limb syndrome and this time it’s with the aid of everybody’s favorite motion controller – the Kinect. Patients wear some VR goggles and with the aid of a Kinect, they get a virtual representation of themselves in a virtual world. It basically applies the same principles as the Mirror Box, and lets patients mirror their good limbs virtually instead of through a box. The system is currently being used in early testing and if all goes well, it will be turned into a real app for Kinect owners. Check out the video demonstration: