Back in primary school I remember learning about the internals of the human body by constructing a digestive system out of toilet rolls. Needless to say, that summer I probably used more toilet tissue than I needed too in an effort to get enough toilet rolls together. The results were awesome though. I plonked a marble through the cardboard oesophagus and proudly demonstrated to my parents the wonders of the human digestive system. I’m assuming my model had the equivalent of the runs as my marble got through in about 5 seconds. Now, the days of such eco-unfriendly learning are behind us and Zybright have released a great app called My Incredible Body, which I would say is aimed at ages 4-13.
My Incredible Body (not MY incredible body) is one of those wow factor iPad apps. I’d see it as the equivalent of an anatomical version of Solar Walk. The main part of the app is basically an engine for a 3D body which can be explored, zoomed, layered and manipulated in all manner of ways. The main areas of the body are covered, such as the afore mentioned digestive system, nervous system, brain, heart, lungs and a few more. Going into each of these body parts gives you further options like a free tour, where you can move the body model around and explore manually, a guided tour through the body part, and a movie which explains about that body part. It really is a fluid, classy experience with excellent graphics and intuitive control. I also like the way you can strip layers away from the body parts so you can get rid of muscles, organs or the circulatory system to get a better look at the body part, or areas around it.
I tested this out with my 5 year old daughter and it really held her attention for a long time, possibly because of the variety of things you can do in the app. I must say, I’ve been playing about with it for a long time too as it really presents what your body does in such a clear visual way.
As you tour through the body, you have pop up boxes which explain a little more about each of the stages. For example, there is a section in the nervous system which follows a nerve impulse from the registration of the ‘pain’ to the”ouch” coming out of your mouth. This is accompanied by annotations at each stage, clearly explaining what is happening. The app also highlights the bits that the annotations refer to, making it easy to pick out what you should be looking at. My Incredible Body also has some excellent sound effects, such as a beating heart to name one. Added to this the videos for each stage are pitched at exactly the right level and are easy to understand in a non-patronising way.
It is really good to see a developer who has taken a lot of time to think about an app, polish it and add the right content. It is these things which set average apps apart from great ones and Zybright have really nailed it here. I believe that this app would really help anyone in school currently learning about the human body and the variety in it ensures that those inquisitive minds would not get bored. There are some additional in app purchases which give you quizzes about the human body, but not having them doesn’t affect the app in terms of functionality. The developers also offer some additional free content on their website which is also good to see.
My Incredible body is available in the App Store here, priced at $4.99.
Disclosure: I bought My Incredible Body with my hard earned cash.