Sunday, December 19, 2010

Newsy: Google Launches 'Body Browser'


Google's latest mapping experiment? The human body. 'Body Browser' lets users explore an interactive 3D model of the human anatomy.

It’s a high-tech, highly detailed look at a human body -- inside and out. No, it’s not the latest TSA scanner. It’s Google’s new experiment, Body Browser.

SmarTrend News has the story.

DUFFIE: “Google’s Body Browser has shown at the WebGL camp and uses HTML5 canvas element without additional plug-ins, Flash, or Java. (FLASH) ...a 3D model of the human body complete with skin, bone, muscle, and tissue-layer views. Users can zoom in, rotate, and search various inner-workings of the human anatomy.

In a quote- “soft” launch on Thursday, the tech giant made a beta version of Body Browser available through Google Labs, allowing users access to the female prototype. (Video:Google Blog)

A blogger for ScienceBlogs highlights her favorite feature of the experiment -- something which Google, you might say, is well-known for: “ far the coolest function is the search box ... As you type in the box, it guesses what you mean and zooms all over the body from structure to structure, which can be quite amusing. When you finish, it will have zoomed you in on your structure of choice, while fading everything else out.”

Though most reviews found the Body Browser interesting and easy to use, tech site PCMagazine had trouble getting it to work. And if PCMag can’t get it to work -- well, it might need some tweaks before a full launch. (Video: Google Blog)

But as interesting as the Body Browser may be, many are wondering -- what’s the point? A writer for Mother Nature Network has a simple answer -- education: “'s still one of the only free, commonly available, in-depth 3-D programs that allows anyone with a laptop and some curiosity to get the kind of insight into the human body that previously only med students and sports medicine professionals had access to. … And what a boon for hypochondriacs.”

And a blogger for Laptop Magazine sees another educational benefit: “...we can see how this could be useful for teaching kids female anatomy at home or in the classroom. Maybe now they can finally throw out those awful films they made us watch in school.”

Writer: Tracy Pfeiffer

No copyright infringement intended. For educational, non-commercial purposes only.

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