The trend towards high-precision procedures and miniaturization in medicine and industry has continued unabated over recent years. Keyhole surgery and dental technology as well as industrial microtechnology are prime examples. Unfortunately, it takes considerable effort to identify small structures with the naked eye. Magnifying glasses, with their one-dimensional vision, are often problematic. Unwieldy stationary stereoscopic microscopes are equally impractical, particularly in the field of medicine. However, a new kind of optical system is now revolutionizing work on microscopic structures; it is worn as a head set. Miniature stepper motors control magnification and focus for each eye. A crystalclear 3D view allows operations on even the smallest of vessels as well as the investigation or assembly of microscopic structures – without straining the eyes.
Working with magnifying glasses and microscopes greatly limits freedom of movement. With magnifying glasses, the distance from the object is fixed, and microscopes are usually cumbersome and impractical. In addition, there is a very limited field of vision with both solutions. This is particularly detrimental in medicine. After all, it is a wellknown fact that nature has very few "standardized" dimensions, and the human body is no exception. Life Optics®, an Austrian high-tech company within this field, has found much sought-after remedy: a state-of-the-art microscope head set. This cutting-edge solution offers unlimited freedom of movement. The system has autofocus functionality, just like modern camcorders. The user does not have to stay at a specific distance – a key benefit compared with magnifying glasses. Furthermore, the two independent lens systems guarantee a three-dimensional field of vision.