Tuesday, December 28, 2010

HTML5, WebGL and Google Body Browser

Google has recently demoed an interesting WebGL application called Body Browser, which lets you explore the human body just like you can explore the world in Google Earth. Now you can try Google Body Browser before it's added to Google Labs, assuming that you have a WebGL-enabled browser:

* WebGL is available, but not enabled by default in Chrome 8 (the latest stable version).

* WebGL is enabled by default in Chrome 9 Beta, Chrome 9 Dev Channel, Chrome Canary Build and Firefox 4 beta.

Google Body is a detailed 3D model of the human body. You can peel back anatomical layers, zoom in, and click to identify anatomy, or search for muscles, organs, bones and more. You can also share the exact scene you are viewing by copying and pasting the URL.

The application doesn't require a plugin. Unlike many other web-based medical applications, no Flash, Java, or other plugins are needed. This application will run on any WebGL-supported browser.

WebGL is based on OpenGL ES 2.0 and provides a programmatic interface for 3D graphics. It uses the HTML5 canvas element and is accessed using Document Object Model interfaces. Automatic memory management is provided as part of the JavaScript language. HTML5 was discussed in some of my earlier posts.

Click here for Getting a WebGL Implementation

here for An Introduction to HTML5

Comment: Years ago, matrices (and tensors) were taught only to graduate students. After some time, these subject(s) were taught to undergraduates too. Today, even a few elite secondary schools teach these subject(s). Similarly, anatomy references were once available only to medical students at institutions like the Harvard and Johns Hopkins Medical Schools. Today, anyone with a high-speed internet connection can access such an application.

For a 1-minute video on Google Body Browser, click here.

For a 7-minute video on Google Body Browser, click here.