Phew! We have officially survived the animEXPO event yesterday. The event was organised by the guys at Digital City Innovation and formed part of the excellent animex festival. The theme of the session was the confluence of gaming technologies with other areas and disciplines – obviously something very close to our heart.
We were in incredible company there, with speakers from the awesome Rhythm and Hues (who did that tiger in Life of Pi), Epic and Atomhawk. If you play games a lot, then this is a group of guys to get you super-geeked out. Our talk was on the development of our Dactyl range, and we spoke a bit about the lack of digital technologies in our field, how they’re not been used to their full potential before, and the advantage of linking academic requirements with a gaming experience. We also handed round the new iPad version of the Dactyl range, which went down really well.
The launch is almost here… I’m very excited.
Well, as you may realise, we’re not the shy, retiring kind, so we’re very happy to have featured in the Independent last weekend! The piece was a discussion of some of the problems that we face when teaching forensic anthropology, and how anthronomics can help save the day!
So, with the Dactyl viewer just about done, we’ve moved our attention to the ‘Pro’ version. This will do all the things that the standard viewer can do, but with added functions. The one we’re testing at the moment is the ability to stick a little pin in the model. Not only does this look pretty, but it brings up a text box in which you can type all manner of info. So, as a teacher, you might want to describe some pathological feature, or as a student, you might want to pin something and type “What on earth is this..?”. It’s going to be really useful in lab sessions where students can use the models to supplement their other osteology teaching.
So now that the final build is just about upon us, I thought it’d be useful to actually show you all what Dactyl can do – and how it can help improve the learning experience of those studying osteology.
So I boldly went over to ScreenR to record some mini-skeletal anatomy movies for you all to watch. They’re fun and educational. They’re fun-ducational! I’m pretty sure that word is now going to catch on fast…
So, you should scoot over here if you want to see them.
So, we have now just about recovered from running the Teesside/Durham Universities short course on ‘body location and recovery in the forensic context’. It’s an intensive 4 days, but it’s such a great course to run as the delegates are always wonderful and come from such a range of backgrounds.
Anyway, the course is really hands-on, and it’s designed for people with little or no osteological experience. This means we need to teach some basic bone stuff. This means we need ‘Dactyl‘! This was the first time that we used the software in a proper teaching context, and it worked like a charm. Explaining the complex anatomy of the temporal bone was a breeze and it was great to be able to pull up examples of arthritis or burning as we were speaking about it too. The students found it really useful, and the other teaching staff were demanding it for the start of term. What a great test of the software.
We’re really excited to see how the new models are coming along. We’re working on some vertebrae and an adult hip bone. They looking good and should be ready to use in the next week or so, which is great. We’ve also tweaked the viewer software and have just taken possession of a new laser scanner! Exciting stuff so keep an eye on us over the summer…
So, today we’ve been at the EPICC (Enhancing Practice and Innovation Centre for Care) Innovation Market Place showing off our shiny new Dactyl models and bespoke viewer. It’s an event for those working in the clinical setting and we’re keen to demo our product to show how useful it would be here too.
The delegates have been playing with the models and giving us some great feedback – so now all we need to do is get some of you teaching with them!
Today we’re entering a bright new era! A new England manager and a new digital product for people working with bones everywhere!
Our new Dactyl range of 3d bone models and our bespoke viewer are up-and-running and we are open for business!
Come and say ‘Hello’ – we’re very friendly.