Brain Tutor on iPhone
January 11, 2009
The iPhone is more than a phone, it is a powerful mobile computer platform with an innovative multi-touch user interface. Since it also supports OpenGL (or more precisely the mobile version “OpenGL ES”, see http://www.khronos.org/), I thought it would be cool to bring the rich graphical experience of BrainVoyager to the iPhone and iPod touch. I was also interested to use the iPhone as a test device for exploring the usefulness of a multi-touch human-computer interface for navigation in BrainVoyager products. While I had to make a few compromises, i.e. the surfaces are simplified in BrainVoyager QX to about 5000 vertices and the resolution of the volume is 2 mm instead of 1 mm, With some additional code optimizations, the software now allows to rotate, translate and zoom brain surfaces and to slice volumes in the same, if not better, way as on a standard desktop or laptop computer. This is quite impressive for a “phone”.
As the first release, the iPhone version of “BrainVoyager Brain Tutor” is now available in the AppStore containing all major features of the original desktop version. The iPhone “Brain Tutor 3D” program allows to:
- manipulate (rotate, zoom, tranlate) cortex meshes (left or right hemisphere) and head mesh in real-time
- slice in real-time through the head mesh using sagittal, axial or coronal slices
- select information from four cortex partitioning schemes (atlases), including lobes, gyri, sulci and Brodmann areas.
- visualize all regions of a partitioning scheme or to select a specific region, which is then visualized on the cortex meshes and on volume slices passing through the selected region
- view text information about a selected region, including information about the location, function and connectivity of an area.
The movie on this Brain Tutor 3D web page demonstrates some of these features. While the movie has been recorded using the iPhone Simulator, the behavior on a real iPhone or iPod touch is nearly identical.
I’ve chosen the name “Brain Tutor 3D” to indicate to non-BrainVoyager users that the app does not simply show images or animations but uses real 3D representations. After two days in the App Store, the responses are very positive: the program has been downloaded more than 3000 times and is in many stores in the world ranked in the top 10 of free apps within the category “Education”. If you have an iPhone or iPod Touch, click at this App Store link to get your copy of Brain Tutor 3D.