The InvisibleEar ™ app is a 3D augmented reality app specifically for biogical and medical investigation of the gross anatomy of the ear as well as the structure of the inner ear with particular attention drawn to the perilymph, endolymph of the cochlea and the petrous temporal bone using highly detailed CT data. It is aimed at high school, post 16 and medical students as well as hearing specialists. The user can either buy a 3D printed model or print glyphs that the app then engages with via the 3D AR in order for the user investigate the positive and negative spaces of the particular anatomy of the ear. It is even possible for the glyph source to be obtained from other medical references.
There are two great video demos supporting how to use the Invisible Ear app. This would not run at all in the Safari browser so Chrome was used. Both the glyph and 3D model were demonstrated, but with no sound or subtitles. The ability to show and remove labels is useful as this would encourage users to able to visually. The developer is a highly skilled medical artist and the InvisibleEar ™ functions without any lag to enable the user to investigate the gross anatomy of the ear. What the app does well is present outstanding quality CT data that can either be projected via the app on to a 3D printed model of the particular part of the anatomy of the ear. The user can also access the same excellent images via a printed glyph. Anyone studying biology and medical sciences at high school level or above would find the InvisibleEar ™ app of great use. There is an opportunity to purchase the 3D printed models, but the price of these may be restrictive to some, but there is great use of glyphs then enables the 3D augmentation to be fully investigated at little or no extra cost.
What the app needs to improve and do better is to differentiate for indicating differing levels and understanding of users. It also needs some form of collaboration. The app may benefit from some form of gamification. It may be possible to ask the user indicate via the app to identify the gross anatomy of the ear after the user has had the opportunity to digest all of the information. If the app was gamified or some form of questioning used to ascertain understanding then a type of bookmarking would be useful. The app could be extended by asking the user questions regarding the anatomy of feature surrounding the petrous temporal bone. This may lead the developer in to producing even more 3D printed models of gross anatomies. The app would benefit from sharing on other platforms and data collection with regards to ascertaining the understanding of the user. The user cannot print directly from the app, but his is not really needed, but would be a nice feature. If social media was used to share with others it may lead to a greater awareness of the availability of the app and also potentially lead to challenge amongst other users. The app would benefit from its own standalone support page on the developers website with a separate email and contact number. This would make give the app its own sub-identity within the developers web presence. There are absolutely no use of any sounds, even for confirmation of buttons clicks. This would make the app feel a little better if used.
From the Developer
The InvisibleEar© operates with a downloadable pdf image (glyph) or a physical 3d printed model available at www.andreazariwny.com
InvisibleEar© is an augmented reality enabled teaching tool, which demonstrates the complex structure of the human inner ear, using CT data from a human temporal bone. With this app you can see the negative space of the inner ear within the human petrous temporal bone.
InvisibleEar© is suitable for hearing specialists, health care professionals and students from high school to medical school. Use this app on any non-retina or retina iPad with a camera.
The inner ear has a complex shape, buried in the dense bone of the petrous temporal region. It is a notoriously challenging subject of anatomy to learn and often thought to be a separate structure rather than a negative space within bone.
The development of Augmented Reality (AR) technology provides an opportunity to create a digital graphic representation of this negative space, combining a digital real-time animation of the inner ear with an accurate anatomical physical model of the petrous temporal bone. This combination provides the ultimate visuo-haptic learning tool, providing accessible structural and functional information on this difficult subject of human anatomy.
To use InvisibleEar©, point the iPad camera at the glyph or model and press the onscreen buttons to reveal or hide details. Drag a slider to change the transparency of the bone to reveal what is hidden underneath! Push one button to view all the internal space, and another to view only the bony
labyrinth that contains the cochlea and the semicircular canals. Learn and quiz yourself on the areas of anatomy by interactively displaying labels describing the structures of the inner ear.