Trying in Vein

Yes, I live in New York, but no, I did not attend NextFest while it was here. I nabbed the above image from their website, though!

It shows a Luminetx VeinViewer in action. Basically, the gadget takes an infrared image of a part of one’s body then re-projects it onto the corresponding surface of one’s skin. Veins don’t reflect the near infrared light, but the surrounding tissue does, so you get a high-contrast view of the veins. Hence, “VeinViewer.”

What I find amazing about the above image is that it communicates that concept fairly clearly—okay, not the near-infrared part, but the general function of the device. You see the image above, and you say to yourself, “Wow, I can see his veins!”

Now, that may not seem like such an accomplishment, but take a look at the images from the Luminetx gallery. Actually, I’ll save you the trouble and link one of the images below:

I mean, okay, the kid looks happy, but what’s that on his arm? It looks like he got a weird tattoo! (Or was the victim of some poor Photoshop work.) Having seen the other image, I understand what’s going on, but the image doesn’t read as clearly as the one from the NextFest site. Offhand, one might think that the real-world image from Luminetx would communicate the concept better than the somewhat stylized image of just the backlit hand. But the composition, lighting, and sheer simplicity combine to distill the concept in an impressively lucid (and certainly more aesthetically pleasing) manner.