The Human Body is a new IOS app from DK, and is available for the iPad and iPad2. The app is a reference tool for human anatomy and lists information about various body parts and systems in full color, with charts, and streaming video sequences. It can be used as a reference tool for young students and to teach children about the major functions of our bodies.
Years ago, to look up medical information, one would reference an encyclopaedia or thick medical journal. As computers were introduced and medical information went online the need for heavy reference books diminished. Now, with tablets like the iPad, large reams of educational material can easily fit on just one device, and is complimented with beautiful graphic capabilities. Tables of contents are replaced with interactive menus, and bland text is complimented with audio and video. Viewing reference material has come a long way, and The Human Body taps into that technology.
For instance, the opening menu screen allows you to choose a system from several of the body’s more important functions like the skeletal system, muscular system, endocrine system, etc. After choosing, you are brought to a main detail screen which plunges you into that system with high resolution graphics and the ability to dog deeper into the human body. Important parts are highlighted with red dots, which you can click on to obtain more information about that particular part. After clicking, you are taken to a more detailed screen that breaks out that body part and offers even more information and other intereactive features.
The picture above shows the inner workings of our eye, in full color, and with amazing clarity. The real treat of this iOS app comes from its video feature, which is available on a few of the body part detail pages.
Reading about the cardiovascular system was my favorite feature of The Human Body app. There is a good level of detail, and after learning about the heart and the various blood delivery channels I was able to click on the system picture and a movie popped up in a the Ipad’s video streamer, shown below.
The video is a photorealistic animation of the heart pumping blood through the cardiovascular system and informational text displays under the video to explain what is happening throughout the movie. The movie also includes audio so you can hear what the human heart sounds like. Another cool video can be found in the reproductive system, showing the female body through the process of fertilization and conception. Sperm meets egg in stunning detail while information about cell structure and embryo development flashes below the video. Movies last from just a few seconds to several minutes long depending on the system you are viewing.
The only disappointing feature comes in the form of application functionality. Since there is so much graphical detail, some of the body part tags are small and hard to read. In some pictures, like the one below, tags litter the screen and make the picture below it hard to see.
Navigating through the menu structure is often confusing and laborious. There is a help section, but it falls short on delivery and content as well.
The application is a fun way to learn about the body, and will be an educational experience for your kids. Those looking for more detail and deeper explanation into the body will find this app a bit elementary.
Overall, I found The Human Body to be a fun app for parents and an entertaining app for kids.