Posts Tagged science
Take a look at your iPhone’s camera. It doesn’t look that special, does it? Sure, it’s great for taking snapshots and documenting your life, but you’d never expect it to keep you healthy, would you?
Thanks to the hard working folks at MIT, that perception should change with the release of Cardiio.
The app turns an iPhone into an accurate, touch-free heart rate monitor and it actually works. Using the phone’s front camera, it analyzes the amount of light reflected off your face then measures the pulse from that. It sounds a little like magic but there’s some clever science behind it.
Every time your heart beats, more blood is pumped into your face which means more light is absorbed and less is reflected away. The app figures things out from that and accurately. It’s as simple as that.
Not convinced? We checked in with Ming-Zher Poh who has been working on the technology since 2009. Ming-Zher started work on contact-free heart rate sensing technology during his Ph.D at MIT. After completing his research and gaining his Ph.D, he decided it’d be a great idea to translate that to the iOS market and help people along the way.
Since January, Ming-Zher and digital health startup incubator Rock Health, have been hard at work on refining the technology and producing a fantastically useful app. Cardiio is the result of that hard work.
The app is immensely user-friendly, with it possible to check your heart rate at any time (providing you’re in a well lit area). A daily dashboard and weekly and monthly summaries ensure you’ll always know your heart rate. Cardiio also reports on how that correlates to your fitness level and, slightly unnervingly, suggests a potential life expectancy based on such figures. Even better, it’s so unobtrusive, unlike many other heart rate monitors.
It’s all too easy to want to bury your head in the sand or simply not consider how something as crucial as your heart is performing. Ming-Zher Poh’s research has gone a huge way to ensuring this doesn’t happen, all for the price of $4.99.
This week at 148Apps.com, we gave the Editor’s Choice award to Organ Trail: Director’s Cut. Reviewer Rob Rich had this to say about the game: “There’s something timeless about The Oregon Trail. Gearing up and heading west across the country in order to settle in some promising new territory, braving all manner of hardships and diseases along the way, it’s a game that just about everyone loves. Wait a second, the “E” is missing. It’s not Oregon Trail? It’s actually Organ Trail? Well I don’t see what the big difference-OHMYGOD ZOMBIES!!!
Organ Trail: Director’s Cut is a throwback to the classic era of computer gaming. Back when we had to load these things using floppy disks, and in-game sounds consisted entirely of varying forms of *BOOP*. Much like its pioneer era inspiration, the game tasks players with preparing for a cross-country road trip and naming party members after friends in order to make them feel bad when they inevitably die in horrible ways. Only this time it’s during a modern zombie apocalypse, and instead of hunting for food and fording rivers they’ll be scrounging for meager supplies while fending off the walking dead and creeping through zombie hordes.”
Released: 2012-08-09 :: Category: Games
Everything was about back to school at GiggleApps.com, where reviewer Amy Solomon had this to say about Murky Reef 1st-2nd Grade Reading, Science and Math: “Parents will appreciate how this app incorporates the Common Core standards for Grades 1 and 2 while keeping children engaged and entertained, especially as children prepare for school to start again soon and need to begin to get back to the business of focusing on school work.
Murky Reef is a collection of 22 interactive games which teach a great deal about the animals of the coral reef as well as include math, logic and language exercises.”
Released: 2011-09-30 :: Category: Education
Finally, on 148Apps.biz, Carter Dotson reported on the rise of the app developer middle class, saying, “While there’s often much pessimism among developers as far as the challenges of money making on mobile apps goes, analytics firm Flurry’s latest report discusses how the revenue among mobile apps is being distributed. With it, there’s evidence that an app developer ‘middle class’ is forming, as with more revenue being spent on mobile apps, developers do not need to reach the kind of high ranks that they did in the past to make the same kind of revenue. As well, the ‘long tail’ of revenue is getting longer.”
Medical students don’t always have access to cadavers, certainly not when outside of the classroom. This is a relief to many of us, but it’s far from practical for those students trying to study the human body. Anatomy & Physiology REVEALED aims to solve that problem.
Available for the iPad, Anatomy & Physiology REVEALED makes it possible to practice on a virtual cadaver, accurately replicating the cadaver dissection experience.
Five modules are available within the app, allowing for access to the skeletal and muscular systems, nervous system, cardiovascular, lymphatic and respiratory systems, digestive, urinary, reproductive and endocrine systems. There’s also room for body orientation, tissues, cells and chemistry.
Many different interactive slides, as well as detailed imagery, videos and animations ensure that this is a comprehensive package for medical students, along with a quiz facility. There’s even pronunciation tips for difficult to pronounce terms.
Anatomy & Physiology REVEALED might not be the cheapest of apps, costing $12.99 plus the same price again for extra modules, but for medical students, it should prove very valuable in giving them the extra edge in their studies.
Released: 2012-07-09 :: Category: Education
Many of us have a keen interest in what the weather is going to be like in our area. After all, it affects us all in our day to day activities in some way. While there are many apps that will tell us a simplistic weather report, NOAA Hi-Def Radar takes a more scientific approach.
The app makes it possible to view real-time animated weather radar images across an interactive map. Users can adjust the loop speed and the interval between individual frames, giving them plenty of control over what they see.
Other features include the ability to see the weather forecast, severe weather warnings, clickable storm direction arrows, snowfall and hurricane forecast tracks, all in one place.
Using NOAA satellites ensures that NOAA Hi-Def Radar is an ideal way of tracking any upcoming hurricanes or storms, covering the Atlantic and Pacific oceans.
NOAA Hi-Def Radar currently only works in the US and can struggle in high-altitude places and parts of Alaska, but for everyone else, it should prove very interesting.
NOAA Hi-Def Radar is out now, priced at $1.99.
I'm not a scientist or medical professional so I can't attest to all of Papers' merits, but I can tell you that it appears to be a robust app that comes with a fine pedigree: The OS X version of Papers won a 2007 Apple Design Award for best scientific application for the Mac. Since Papers for the iPhone syncs with the OS X version, it allows you to leverage scientific research already in hand and also includes several search engines so you can not only take your research library with you on the go, but also add to it.
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