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January 01, 2017 (Vol. 37, No. 1)

The Brain AR app

URL:http://apple.co/1FkYNLd
  • Nice animated model, audio descriptions for parts of the brain
  • No descriptions for other levels (e.g., muscles)
Platform: iPad/iPhone/Android  
Cost: Free

Admittedly, the “augmented reality” component of this app is more gimmicky than anything, as the effect is merely to overlay the animated 3D anatomical model of the head onto the user’s actual environment (as accessed by the device’s camera). However, even in the absence of that feature, the app is a neat educational tool that allows users to explore progressively deeper levels of the 3D head, from skin all the way down to the nervous system. At the level of the skull and the brain, users can select an expanded model in which different parts of the anatomy separate from one another, allowing clearer visualization of each individual component. For the brain, tapping on an individual part will yield an audio description of that structure. Hopefully in the future that feature will be expanded to include the other levels of anatomy (e.g., muscles and bones) as well.

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